Love. That first look. When you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is The One. Your heart beats faster, you can’t speak properly, you sweat. A bit like running a marathon. And, boy, at that moment, did I ever realise just what a marathon it would be!
All the films made me believe it lasts forever. Joy wrapping itself around you and never letting go. But it was all a trick. Nature’s attempts to propagate the species, I guess. First that wonderful spark – and then what? You want a kid with her. My mates said I was jumping in too quick, too hard. But that warm, fuzzy picture was just too perfect to resist.
When everything’s new, you’re enjoying the ride. But this is an endurance sport. It’s not going to last a few months, a few years. It’s going to last for the rest of your life.
Forget the dreams you had when you were younger. Of travelling the world, of doing something special, worthwhile – interesting even. The dream of love draws you into its web. A willing fly to the spider.
The nightmare unfolds. The mortgage, bleeding more than a pint; the inconsolable, sleepless tears of a baby; scornful guilt for clothes left on the floor; rebukes for rare retreats to the pub. The fly, gradually drained of its life.
Love, they say, changes everything. Well, it sure did in my case. Cupid aimed straight at the heart, but got the jugular.