I’ve been thinking about my relationship lately.
About how it’s no longer in the head-over-heels, heart-skip-a-beat phase it once was. About how he and I come home after a long day at work and we both just want to crash. About how we don’t always remember to kiss one another good night. About how we don’t always say “I love you” as often as we maybe should.
And when I think about this too long or too deeply, I panic. I wonder if all these things mean I love him less than I once did. I wonder if it means we don’t have what it takes to make it in the long-term. I wonder if it mean we don’t love one another as much as we think we do.
But you know what? I’m realizing it actually means the opposite. As most things do, love changes over time.
I think when you love someone, really love them, it’s normal to outgrow the weak-in-the-knees feelings and moments. A steady love replaces that once frantic and new love.
The bits and pieces of a person that were once infatuating and exciting become a familiar part of their soul. The touch that used to send your heart fluttering still does, but not with the same frequency or intensity. Their name popping up on your phone becomes routine rather than surprise.
It’s important to remember that real life love isn’t movie love. Sometimes real life love is messy and raw and real and too much. Sometimes it’s boring. Sometimes it’s in between.
Real life love is him holding you tightly — almost literally holding you together — when you’re lying in bed struggling to breathe through a panic attack, snot running out of your nose all over his shirt.
Real life love is him making dinner every single night because he knows how much you despise cooking but love eating.
Real life love is when your hands are raw and bloody and painful from working out, so he stands in the shower and he washes your hair for you even though he isn’t happy about it and has no idea how to do it.
Real life love is taking 60 seconds out of a busy morning to stand in the middle of the kitchen, hugging him with every ounce of your being, wondering how he is yours and this is your life.
Real life love is less about surprises like roses and chocolate, and more about the things that matter, like new windshield wipers and dog food and the cereal he knows you like.
Real life love is sacrifice and compromise. It’s give and take. It’s new and old. It’s all the in between.
And it’s ever-changing.