I’ve read a couple of interesting articles on the topic of love recently. There was this article, “The Peril of Not Dying for Love” which I could really relate to from my own single years. Then there was this post, “Why Marriage Ought to be Painful” which had some really interesting points.
I don’t consider myself wise in the ways of love. I didn’t have many relationships before I met my husband and I’ve only been married for about 5 years. However, while my mind mulled over these articles I couldn’t help but think about how misled I’ve been throughout my life of what “true love” ought to look like. So often movies, novels and love stories portray this idea that love is an escape. An escape from boredom, from the mundane, from loneliness, from our prior lives. To expect one person to fix all our discomfort and unhappiness is not only selfish, but unrealistic. In my 6 1/2 years of knowing/dating/loving/marrying Danny I have come to view love in a completely different way. I see love as an invitation. An invitation to another to see the imperfect, fragile, messy person we are. Letting someone into the those shamed halls and locked up parts of ourselves can be downright terrifying. Part of all this is accepting that person we chose to love when they show us those shadowed parts of themselves.
I’ve come to believe that in our hearts we long for that which is worthwhile and all that is worthwhile takes energy. We don’t always say the right words or do the most romantic things, but if we put our energy into the acceptance and caring of this other imperfect individual, I think that is when the beauty of love happens. It’s not in the well-scripted lines from stories or movies, but in the quiet moments of washing the dishes so our significant other can have a break, or a much needed hug or an out-of-the-blue phone call. It is in letting your other half have their choice of what to watch that night on Netflix, or changing the baby’s diaper or filling up the car with gas. It’s in all these tiny moments of kindness. And while all these tiny moments might not make the most exciting movie or swoon worthy novel, it is what I have come to believe what “true love” is.