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Love on the Heavy End of the Seesaw

Losing your balance doesn't end well. Gravity sees to that. Love is also affected by a lack of balance. When two people are in love, and that love is not in balance, someone may fall. But when a heart hits the concrete, no one really laughs.
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Businesswoman and businessman balanced on Seesaw. Gender equality concept.
Businesswoman and businessman balanced on Seesaw. Gender equality concept.

Balance. If you lose your balance, you're going to fall down, and falling down hurts. In college I tried to leapfrog a parking meter while holding a cup of beer in one hand. Eating concrete while dousing myself in Miller High Life was quite entertaining to the folks walking around me on the sidewalk. People actually laughed and pointed at me while I lay gasping for breath on the pavement. I never tried that again, of course, and I believe that was the last time I actually fell all the way to the ground with great force. Losing your balance doesn't end well. Gravity sees to that. Love is also affected by a lack of balance. When two people are in love, and that love is not in balance, someone may fall. But when a heart hits the concrete, no one really laughs.

A moment of truth. The moment of truth in matters of love happens when someone says to their romantic partner, for the first time, "I love you." Maybe that person will hear that phrase spoken in return, it's possible they won't. Either way, the die is cast and the couple moves forward down one of two paths depending on the answer. Chests pounding, mouths void of any moisture, eyes searching, hearts hanging in the balance. A whispered reply, "I love you, too. Always," hits your ear and everything, in that moment, is right with the world. For now, and in that moment.

Romantic love has mass. Once "I love you's" start getting exchanged, the two people volleying them back and forth get on the equivalent of a playground seesaw. A seesaw works if the two people on the ends are balanced. Equal masses cause teeter totter riders to go up and down, up and down. Equality of the love masses will ensure a smooth riding experience. But if someone is holding a heavier mass of love, they crash to the ground and stay there. The ride is over and it wasn't much fun.

A division of love exists in every romantic relationship. We know it, but seldom acknowledge its existence. I'm not talking about who has the upper hand in the relationship, although that is sometimes problematic. I'm not talking about playing head games to get your partner to love you more, or to manipulate them. That happens too, all the time. I'm referring to the simple fact that when two people are in love, they almost never love each with the same intensity, or power. Men and women do not grade love on a scale of 1-10. Or do we subconsciously?

When two people love each other equally and intensely, it is a beautiful, and quite possibly, an uncommon occurrence. If you are in a relationship, and both in love to the tune of a perfect 10, congratulations! You're lucky and likely to be very happy. But if you score your love a 5 and your partner is at a 9, then what?

Love isn't rated, of course. If it was rated, we wouldn't share our love scores with our partners. And if we did share our scores, would we be honest with that number so as to spare hearts and emotions? I don't think we would be truthful, do you?

When we profess our love to our partners, we feel that love energy. We all know, without question, when we are with someone who loves us more than we can love them back. Or, conversely, when we are head over heels in love and our partner probably isn't there. Couples don't talk about it or really fight about it, but we sense it. The feeling of love inequity, whether you carry the heavy end or not, is unsettling. Carrying more than your share of the love in a relationship is the worst feeling. Heartbreak seems to be other shoe waiting to fall. It's a brand of heartbreak that can linger and is hard to shake.

How does someone avoid sitting on the heavy end of the love seesaw? How can you avoid that misery? First, take your time and go slow. Don't get on the seesaw so quickly. Make an "I love you" count and don't trust people that throw them around so freely. A new and exciting romance does not equal love. It is not a basis for love, but rather a start down a path that may, and most likely won't, end in long lasting love and that's okay.

Secondly, don't worry about it or focus on the fact that this love gap exists. It may bother you somewhere in the back regions of your heart, but don't let your head chew on it all the time. Love grows and evolves. Initial attraction is important and can't be faked, but it is not love. Basing a love relationship on your first month together is not a good litmus test for a long lasting love. No matter how hot, sexy, and passionate your partner is at first, it won't be enough.

In the end, listen to your heart and your head. Lead with one, then the other as you navigate the relationship. If you are holding the heavier love mass, it may seem that you are waiting for a heartache attack. And you may be, but you don't know that for sure so relax. A good relationship, whether it lasts or not, should make us better people. I once had an old girlfriend ask me, many years after our relationship ended, if I had any regrets. I said "no", I think to her surprise. I told her I did the best I could at the time, which was true. And my best then wouldn't be my best today. I grew and evolved.

Good luck out there to everyone sitting on the heavy side of the love seesaw! You know who you are. It's okay to sit there in the dirt looking up at your partner. They are lucky to have you


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