Posted by: CeCe | February 17, 2012

What love really looks like

I know I’m posting this a couple days after Valentine’s Day and that would have been a more appropriate day for this kind of post, but to be honest, I didn’t want to be surrendering to the trite and cliche, and I think that me doing a love-themed post on Valentine’s Day would have been both.  So I’m doing a love-themed post now, but I hope that it will be neither trite nor cliche, and that it doesn’t make anyone too nauseous.

I’m not really a fan of romantic movies, or in fact, of romance in general.  I never wanted a guy to surprise me with a dozen roses on my birthday or Valentine’s Day, and I never really cared about huge overtures of romance, which was usually rife with flowery words that meant nothing and gifts meant to buy me.  However, when I was a teenager, I did think that love was all about fireworks.  I had this one boyfriend, he was actually my first “real” high school boyfriend, and I thought he didn’t like me because he wouldn’t even hold my hand.  To me, love was affectionate, and constantly needed physical contact to cultivate.  When boyfriends I had didn’t hug me or kiss me or touch me in any way for what I considered long periods of time, I thought there was something wrong with me, or, even worse, with the relationship, and invariably, insecurities would overtake me.  So what happened to that aforementioned first boyfriend?  I broke up with him.

Ever since then, what I believed love was has changed considerably.  Through being married for going on nine years and facing much adversity with my husband by my side, this is what I’ve discovered about what love really is.

Love is knowing every line on your loved one’s face, and knowing that they come from a life that you have had the privilege of sharing with them.

Love is seeing the streaks of silver in your lover’s hair and not thinking that maybe they should cover them up; love sees the silver and knows its incalculable worth.

Love is holding your spouse’s hand in sickness and in health, like my parents who were still holding hands after nearly 34 years of marriage, even through my dad’s failing health and my mom’s fear of losing him and being left alone with four kids.

Love is not expecting fireworks and romance; love is a night in, watching a show or a movie, with your lover on the couch beside you  keeping you warm on a cold night.

Love is knowing what your lover is going to say before they even open their mouth.

Love is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Even when you’re angry, even when you’re hurt, even when you’re unhappy, you know you love someone when you can’t imagine spending the rest of your life with anyone else.  Love is when you know that a huge part of you will die when they do, and that they feel the same way.  Love is a promise fulfilled only after seeing each other through both pain and happiness.

While some men will go over the top with flowers and candy and perfume and 1000 thread-count sheets on Valentine’s Day, I’d rather have the kind of man who will comfort me when I’m broken.  I’d rather have the kind of man who brings me laughter right when I need it, who keeps me humble and grounded, who pushes me when I’m having trouble getting myself going, and who is willing to be sensibility and conscience when I need both.  All of those are worth far more than any piece of jewelry I could ever be bought, worth more than any card I could ever be given, and longer-lasting than any other gift.

Love is not always romance, and it’s not always about getting everything you want.  I’m so glad that I’ve learned that, and even more glad that I’ve had such an amazing teacher.

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