It starts with a look, a word, a touch – or in my case, an email.
And before you know it, your whole world has turned upside down and changed irrevocably because of one beautiful moment and one, now irreplaceable, person. Someone who just a a few short days ago meant almost nothing now means everything.
When we were dating, my then-boyfriend-now-husband gave every thought to making me feel like a princess. My dating experience was filled with fancy dinners, thoughtful gifts, and mushy love notes.
My love story started off being everything every girl dreams of in a love story. Practically Nicholas-Sparks’-novel-worthy (except better – because honestly, I can’t stand The Notebook).
But for many, it seems, love from here turns around and disappears into nothingness. The effort once put in to impress dies down, the words dry up, fun gives way to responsibility… and one day you find yourself looking at someone you don’t feel love for anymore. You wonder where those things went and feel there’s nothing left to hold onto. And you feel like your only options are to hang on to lovelessness or search for love somewhere else.
We were told by so many that this would happen – that there would come a time when the honeymoon would end, and that person who had become everything would once again become nothing – definitely not an ardent lover and hardly even a good friend.
It’s our 8 year anniversary today, and rather than our love dying off slowly as predicted, it is deeper than ever. But it isn’t what it was. It isn’t at ALL what I thought it would be. I never, ever thought I’d ever be sitting with my husband, laughing in my yoga pants and cat slipper socks – but these kinds of moments have become my favourites. The things I appreciate and cherish in my heart aren’t so much those big things anymore.
Love has become something different.
In order for love to thrive you must search for it in the mundane. You must embrace the beauty and romance of the little things. The real acts of love are the small things. Love must become something more than the occasional romantic dinner or it will inevitably die. Overtime, the love that lasts and grows becomes something entirely separate from those things.
Love becomes a stolen kiss in the kitchen.
Love becomes an extra hour of sleep you can take because he’s taken the kids.
Love becomes a $10 bunch of supermarket flowers.
Love becomes a bedtime story he reads to your son (complete with all the funny voices).
Love becomes a long hug while you ugly cry.
Love becomes a sentence he finishes.
Love becomes a screaming baby in his arms while you take a shower.
Love becomes the chocolate he wanted but gave to you anyway.
Love becomes an unexpected embrace from behind while you are elbow-deep in dirty dish water.
Love becomes the feeling of a hand stroking your hair and a kiss goodbye you only half notice (as you are still half asleep).
Love becomes a cold towel to your fevered face.
Love becomes the way he looks at your kids.
Love becomes all your inside jokes.
Love becomes a dishwasher full of clean dishes you didn’t have to ask for.
Love becomes a hot cup of coffee in bed.
Love becomes an hour to yourself.
Love becomes the ability to say anything you want and knowing he won’t think you’re stupid or crazy.
Love becomes a look that says you are the most beautiful thing in the world to him – while you sit there: pounds heavier, sweats on, hair hastily swept up in a messy bun.
Love becomes the realization that he’s seen you at your worst and he’s still here – he still loves you and he’s not going away.
There comes a moment in any healthy, long term marriage relationship when you realise – perhaps while you are looking into his eyes or watching him interact with your children – that love as changed and that you love it this way. That those small things are actually the big things. They’re the things that matter. They’re the things that make you feel loved for all you are – loved for every mood and every make-up-less face. Loved for who you are at your very core.
There are still those big, fancy dinners and dates every now and then – but they aren’t what matters to you anymore. They aren’t what tell you that you are loved – they are merely celebrations of the love you share every day.
Loves becomes deeper, stronger, more meaningful.
Love becomes the small things.
And those small things – they become the big things.