Fifty Shades of Loving Your Candidate

Written by Jill Chapin. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Tagged: , ,

Published on October 23, 2012 with 34 Comments

President Barack Obama. File photo by Luke Thomas.

By Jill Chapin

October 23, 2012

After carefully listening to many formerly rabid 2008 Obama supporters, the most common thread of disenchantment seems to be that they no longer feel the passion and ardor of those glory days of instant palpitations over their new beau.

I also lament that loss of electricity of having fallen headfirst into an admittedly one-sided relationship – a crush of enormous magnitude where logic and cerebral activity were temporarily dislodged in the vortex of a swirling swoon that overtook a good chunk of us voters.

But in the last election, our fantasy love object actually became our boyfriend and we settled into a naturally evolving relationship where our hearts inevitably stopped fluttering every time we heard him speak.

However, the waning of those feelings doesn’t necessarily have to translate into an all or nothing decision to dump the guy who no longer elicits rapid palpitations. If that were the case, then how do successful marriages morph from those hot and heavy first dates into a deeper but inevitably cooler sensibility?

Let’s be honest; those first heady days of lust and longing are in direct proportion to the novelty and newness of the relationship. It’s not that familiarity breeds contempt so much as it is that familiarity breeds a calmer comfort level that can have its own rewards. But uber high-octane passion is the first casualty after those early days because they are programmed to self-destruct as a deeper intimacy replaces it. Most people accept this evolution but many commit their lives to serial relationships so they can always get that high, with someone new.

So to all of us who are actually considering a vote for the other guy in hopes of recapturing at least some of that heat, I suggest a reality check before you do so. Go back to using that organ between your ears instead of the one in your chest. Our country and the planet on which it resides are at a crossroads, and we need to think in terms other than those former goose-bumpy moments and decide whether, despite our loss of that hot lovin’ feeling, there still exists a president who – like our mothers admired – would still be there for us after the blush is off the rose.

There are people who go through life having never experienced that delicious rush of hormones at the beginning of a relationship, whether personal or political. The feelings of 2008 were special and unique – I doubt I will ever feel quite that way again. But it doesn’t matter because it’s part of my memory bank, to be brought forth and dusted off when I need the equivalent of a java jolt.

So in struggling with the feelings that we wish we had as we decide on the trajectory of our country for the next four years, we need to grow up and realize that lasting relationships demand real commitment, and expecting the impossible is not a way to judge a lover – or a president.

Jill Chapin

Jill Chapin

Jill Chapin has been a guest writer and columnist in several Los Angeles area papers for over fifteen years. She has written a bilingual parenting book titled, "If You Have Kids, Then Be a Parent!" and a children's book entitled, "My Magic Bubble."

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