A Valentine to Loves Found

stephen-and-tasha-kissing-2087When I was in grade school I fell in love, or more accurately had a gigantic crush on a boy with blond hair named Teddy. I don’t think he even knew I existed, and I certainly made no advances toward him, being far too shy to do so. I simply gazed at him from afar and thought he was wonderful. In my seventh grade year another fair-haired boy I yearned over named Dana replaced Teddy in my heart. Some years later I discovered that before she met my father, many of my mother’s boyfriends had been blond, and I wondered if her predilections could have subconsciously influenced me in my choices.

My passion for blond men dissipated. When I was sixteen another boy named Teddy though with brown hair, became my first real love. My parents labeled it puppy love, but I knew better. Our dates were conducted via the bus because neither of us had a license to drive. We danced in his parents’ living room to the tune of “Unforgettable,” and snuggled in the movies—it didn’t much matter what was on the screen. When he went away to camp for two weeks he wrote me each day and I waited anxiously by the door for the mailman. I wore his felt beanie with pins on it constantly, which drove my dear parents crazy. I was their oldest child and their initial experience with their children’s first loves.

My first husband and I met at a dance and fell in love quite quickly. I was a rather romantic seventeen-year-old senior in high school. He was from New York, a sophomore in college and quite sophisticated. Our love blossomed over the summer and culminated in an elopement the following year. This was exacerbated by my parents’ protective attitude. They were not happy about our burgeoning relationship and had threatened to send me on a long trip the following summer to visit relatives abroad. They did what they thought best, though their antagonism probably fueled our passion. I was a young bride and soon a young mother. Our children became the focus of our marriage and of our love.

Now so many years later I look back on those early loves and I smile. In those days I knew so little of what love really was about. Most of how I viewed it came from romantic novels and magazines. With time and experience I learned about it for myself, and sometimes this was painful. Yet as I look back I have no regrets. I am married now to the love of my life. Our relationship has endured for nearly forty years. As I age I am grateful for his presence and for the love he brings to our days. As Shakespeare said, “Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds.” We have grown together, changed together, and remained together with all the joy and happiness that our experiences have brought to our relationship. He is my always valentine.

Tasha Halpert

Happy Anniversary To Us by Tasha Halpert

S7T bt BrendaStephen and I met in 1977 while we were both working for a small theater group called Theater Workshop Boston. I was an occasional personal assistant to the director, Stephen did a freelance publicity and public relations and the director had hired him to help out. We were both called to the office on the same day, being together there for several hours while we helped the director. We agreed to meet again soon afterward to spend more time together.

That second meeting quickly grew into a friendship as we discovered much in common and found a great deal to communicate about. Soon because I needed to move from my small apartment, Stephen invited me to become his roommate. Fortuitously, the current one had just moved out. W

As we proved to be so compatible, we soon moved in together and got another roommate to help make ends met. We threw in our lot together and began working as a team soon after that. Stephen taught me about publicity and public relations; I taught him about meditation and intuitive skills. We began teaching classes together. He encouraged me to write, and I began what ended by being a series of books we self published later on.

After nearly three years because we wanted to show the world it was possible to do that and still be lovers we made the decision to marry. On July 5,1980 beneath a beautiful Copper Beech, we were married by a minister friend of mine. After 35 years we are still both married and lovers. As well, we are best friends. To some extent this is due to a decision we made at my insistence very soon after we met: we agreed always to be honest with one another about our feelings.

I felt then and feel even more strongly now that a good, long lasting relationship must be built on honesty in general but especially when it comes to feelings. There are times when it is painful to be honest about how one feels. However, if one does not share the feelings they can grow into resentment and then anger. If instead the feeling is shared, this does not happen.

Change can be optional. What matters is that the feelings are expressed. Sometimes it is impossible to alter behavior, especially if it is an ingrained part of his or her nature. For instance, I will probably always have a tendency to wait to leave for an appointment until the last minute, thus frustrating Stephen. He will doubtless always collect things, resulting in piles and crowded living space.

Generous measures of patience, tolerance and kindness toward one another have been vital to the longevity of our relationship. Also important is that we do not compete with one another. Each rejoices over the triumphs of the other, nor is there any jealousy or envy between us. When you truly love someone it is their happiness that matters. As well, so does yours. In our years together we have tried always to give each other room to grow. Our love for one another is the fertile soil that makes that happen.