Kolkata is radiating in the warm glow of the sun even in November. The winter hasn’t yet found its way to the city. I was walking down with Aryan, who lives in my neighbourhood, this evening. Cool and soothing breeze was a relief after a hot day. We adjusted our masks, the new yet uncomfortable mandate during the pandemic to which we all have yielded, and ambled across the path, lost in our own thoughts taking in the cool air.
Aryan broke the silence and spoke about his girlfriend Pihu. He was saddened by the lost passion in their relationship. He spoke at length about what’s not working between them despite his efforts.
I asked him, “What efforts are you talking about?” He quickly responded, “I call her up on weekends and say the three words even when I don’t get a response and when she is in town we go for dinner dates. What else could she need from me? We had a tiff recently and she said she hears the words but doesn’t feel my love. I don’t really understand.”
I felt Aryan was missing something significant. There are many unstated realities and emotions in the relationship that hide in the heart of a woman. She will not draw a precise map of it but her expressions will lead you to it that is if you have your eyes on her and not on her knee jerk reactions.
“How often do you listen to what’s happening in her life?” He looked at me a little puzzled. “It’s been a long time since I’m dating her; I know what her daily grind is like.”
I reminded him the power of active listening. Relationships are based upon this very tenet. Never take a relationship for granted.
“Each day I hear, ‘how you are’ more than ‘I love you’ from my spouse and trust me it matters. He is constantly making life easy for me and I am in return trying the same.
I don’t care if we are able to make it to the high-flying weekend getaway but we make sure we are relaxing beside each other, be it sprawled in the living room sipping on our tea together during the weekends and watching something on the tube that we both can enjoy or simply doing our own things yet acknowledging the presence of the other.
We have our share of falling-outs but we make sure not to stretch it too far. We make it up by light-hearted humour, kissing, hugging and expressing ourselves without the fear of losing the love and respect to sharp judgements.
Kissing is like traveling back to high school days; it brings back the passion in a couple who are stuck in complacency. I give a lot of importance to eye contact and holding hands when together. It helps in assuring each other of the shared affection.”
Aryan beamed and related to this completely. We all learn in relationships. He made a call to Pihu just to check on her, she was surprised to hear from him in the middle of the week. I walked to the cabana that’s at the far end in the garden to sit and enjoy a quiet moment looking at him from afar and enjoying the smile that covered his now crimson face. He looked relieved and winked at me while I enjoyed some more breeze that was generously caressing me.
Love is indeed a verb. It’s not just a mere feeling you carry. It calls for action.
Share how do you express your love without those three predictable words. See you in the comments.