So you’ve found someone you want to be with long term. They make your heart speed up, the butterflies take flight in your stomach and your face brighten at just the thought of them. You’re physically connected and things are just perfect. But then the months draw on, suddenly time is threatening to fly by at a speed that makes your head spin. The flaws start to creep up. You push each other’s buttons to the point of madness. At times you may walk away from a fight thinking you can’t do this anymore. You think that this person isn’t meant for you and you were so stupid to think they were in the first place. How the hell could you marry someone like that?!
Love isn’t a constant high peaking line. Love isn’t eternal smiles and cuddling and cutesy nicknames. Love is fricken hard. Love is prickly and slippery. She can be loyal to a fault and yet she seems to disappear so quietly that you panic when you realize her absence. She bursts back into your heart with flare and loud fanfare. Her rising and falling tide is sometimes erratic and other times a slow steady climb up, a slight dip down and then a shift back to an even keel.
Relationships are based on love and love isn’t easily tamed into where or when you want her. In truth you are often just along for the ride at first. You have to hold onto the railing of your ship and pray you don’t drown in the unknown expanse of it all. Yet as time goes on you learn the ropes and navigating comes easier. Easier, not easy. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. That expression is so painfully true for a lasting relationship.
Today, in the immediate access and you-can-have-it-now world we live in, patience is dying. Separation and divorce are commonplace. There is so little that people are willing to wait for anymore. The world we live in may be changing but love will never change. Partnership should never change. Whomever you choose to love deserves all of you and vice versa. It’s not about keeping score or being jealous of your partner, ever. You are a team, the tightest of units.
When you love someone and you make a commitment, you are promising to have their back. You are their backup, their cheering section, their coach, their counselor, their bodyguard and their best friend. You should lift each other up. Their success is your success. You help each other grow, you push each other forward, offer a safe place to be vulnerable and you have each other’s backs at the end of the day. That’s what partners do. If you stay with someone long term you promise to take all of them and give all of yourself.
You will not always be madly in love with your partner it’s true. It’s natural to feel your love rise and fall as time goes on. Even at your worst moments though, if life were to pause and you could take a step back from that space, you should still be able to say with confidence that you love that idiot you are tied to. That annoying, pushy, maddening idiot…he/she is YOUR dummy.
The best partnerships are not about being always right, it’s not about belittling your partner to be the alpha, it’s not about holding onto the past or keeping grudges. When a roadblock comes up and your car stalls and the wheels fall off and all seems lost…the best partners help each other dust off and get up. You take stock of what you do have (each other) and you share the burden of the future while helping to unload some of the baggage of the past.
Above all though, above everything else that comes with committing to someone long term, you have to remember to always be on the same page. Don’t keep your partner in the dark, don’t keep them from expressing themselves either. Communication is and always will be key. Learn how to talk to each other. No two partners are the same. Love is beautiful and mysterious. She’s an ever growing entity in and of herself that requires the most dedicated of players.
It’s hard work that’s worth every second you can get. But by God don’t run away. Work that shit out.