The things we do for love

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December 17, 2013 by hollyleber

I don’t care for science fiction or fantasy.

At the behest of my significant other, however, I have agreed to at least consider watching the most recent incarnation of the series “Dr. Who.”

My office spouse, a self-proclaimed geek, noted upon hearing this news that he had encouraged me to pay a visit to “the Doctor” many times before. But with all due respect, there are some things I’m only willing to do for one person.

Part of being in a committed relationship is sucking up things we don’t particularly enjoy because sharing a loved activity or experience would be meaningful to our partners.

In my observation, this often involves some sort of spectator sport. Especially here in the South. I’m willing to bet that some of you women cheer for a football team because your boyfriend/husband does. Call it gender stereotyping all you want, but those exist for a reason.

Laura said she even travels to away games because her husband is a season-ticket holder and die-hard fan of one of those teams people around here care about.

“But he does things for me, too,” she said of her beloved, who accompanies her to art shows and adopted her three cats and two dogs into his formerly petless life when they married.

“Love is a powerful motivator,” mused a betrothed man-friend, and despite gagging a little at the honeyed sentiment, he’s not actually wrong.

And we’re not talking about grand sacrifices here, but how many of us really want to spend any of our limited free time doing things we don’t actually care about? The point, however, is that someone else’s happiness is its own reward.

My fella has certainly done things for me, and clearly I need to appreciate him more because I actually called him up to ask for examples.

“I go to social events for you,” the naturally introverted man reminded me.

He’s also attended ballroom dance classes, eaten whole grain pasta and watched “Gilmore Girls,” although he liked it, whether he’ll admit it or not.

Sometimes, we learn to love new things.

One friend said his wife has imbued him with an appreciation for country music, which he would not have listened to were it not for her preference. And my mother learned to play golf because my father has a great love of the game. As far as I can tell, she enjoys it. Either that or she fakes it well.

Who knows, maybe I’ll love “Dr. Who.” If not, at least it will make him happy if I watch it. And if I really hate it, he can … you know, actually, I can’t think of a lot he wouldn’t be willing to try.

Except for vegetables. That’s where he draws the line.

 

Originally published Feb. 4, 2011 in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

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