“The Notebook”, Old School Love and Real Love, does it exist?

The Notebook:  I realize that this movie came out some time ago.  It is true I am not an avid movie watcher.   For me catching a flick a couple years after the release does happen sometimes, okay most of the time. It is my norm.  But that is okay for me, as I really do not run with the crowd.  In fact I have this tendency to run away from the crowd.  I just do not like to do what everybody else is doing until it is my doing.  That to most means I am out of the loop.

 The Movie: It was to many the love story of the decade.  Many people told me “go see it”…”just see the movie”…”you have to see it!”  For others it was a nice depiction of true love and the American way.  To others it was shmarmy, a little too sappy at best and a little too unrealistic for a society that has a divorce rate of well over 50%, and an increasing number that classify themselves as domestic partners of both the heterosexual and alternative type.  So, first love being last love?  Hmm, that is a bit much don’t you think? Cynics would agree that that type of love and marriage too? Poppycock! (okay I dated myself)

If you look a little closer into the characters you see truth about relationship and the promises we make or fail to make to ourselves at the core.  First prevalent truth revealed.  It is that the first person that you love, I mean really love, will be the last person that you really love.  Some will say there are many people that you will love in your lifetime.  Common thought is there are many fish in the sea.  Few people buy into the “Penelope and Odysseus” story line. So you could argue this point, or you can identify different classifications of love.  The love that Noah had for Allie in the movie was a total commitment to a promise.  That was his truth.  He could include another woman into his life, his house, but could never promise again that which he promised his one true love.  He would not find home.

The bigger point is this, how many of us do not really love, those which we think are our first love?  Far too often people marry out of pressure, identifying themselves with the, “it is the thing to do.”  Many feel that they cross the point of no return in relationships so they hang on for dear life, or emotional death.  The fear of hurting another and putting their feelings, wants first is not putting them first.  You are actually putting yourself, your guilt, your pain before their own in many ways.  Eventually if you are not really in it for the reasons that you should take a life partner, then it will implode!  You will both end up hurt anyway.

 Noah asks Allie “what do you want?”  She is faced with a decision to go with the one she truly loves or the life that she thinks she loves and a commitment to marry another. Discernment when we must make a choice is indeed a very hard thing.  Whether is entering into anything, job, major purchase, relationships, etc., we can be deluded into believing we feel something we think we feel. We want something we think we want.  Believe something we think we believe.  It only becomes right when it all aligns, when what we feel, want, think, and believe comes together.  It is then that a promise can be uttered.  Then a commitment backs the promise.  Through that we can see absolute truth revealed in our lives. 

Sometimes I wonder if we rush so much into relationships for all the obvious reasons that we ignore obvious reasons why we should not, only denying ourselves that Noah and Allie love.  Did Noah indicate anything to Allie in his youth that he would care for her and make her home even when she did not remember him?  Was there anything that he did which indicated to Allie that he would continue communications even when she forgot home? Yes, he did, he was a promise keeper.  He kept first the promises to himself and then to the ones he loved. He made home and knew that it was the essence of her that would fulfill it and he knew that it was her presence that made home for his heart.

Okay, so it was a movie, but it was more than a movie.  It is a glimpse at something lost in our culture.  We do not love for love’s sake.  We do not marry with the intent to fulfill promises.  We do not keep promises.  More importantly, we make promises we should not make in the first place.  Prenuptual agreements, contracts, keep us all in a state of mind that a promise, a word can be abandoned with a blink of an eye.   Believe me, I am not saying divorce, break-ups are not sometimes necessary.  I have been down that road.  What I am saying is this: We have set ourselves up to avoid the ability to make a long-lasting loving relationship with a promise at the core. We go about it the wrong way. What is necessary to have a sustaining relationship with another person?  What is needed in order to nurture the relationship to a place of health and growth?  I know for myself it is about time.  I struggle to maintain healthy relationships with family and friends and work a full-time job, and take care of me.  How can I possibly give all that is necessary to nurture the man in my life, nurture the relationship if I have to schedule it in?  It is all something to ponder.  There is nothing worst then feeling alone with someone in the other room, or worst sitting on the couch with you.

As for this romantic, I do believe that love like Noah and Allie’s exist.  Maybe, just maybe, we do not always get it. Or, maybe, just maybe, we let the “one” pass us by.  Fear of taking a chance and just going up to the one we are drawn to and saying, hi! We convince ourselves we are silly.   Giving up too soon and listening to others around us when they say, oh, he/she is not for you, there are a lot of fish in the sea, find another to fill your time.  But then again, that kind of thing only happens in movies.