Seeing as I have found myself inundated with wedding invitations and that I’ve had weddings on the brain considering the events of the last 48 hours, I have been pondering a lot on the subject of romance, and how marriage changed the idea of romance for me.
I remember vividly the giddiness of being a bride and my twitterpated feelings when I first started really falling for Matt. Each hour we spent apart from each other seemed agonizingly long, and I got giggly just hearing the knock at my door when Matt came over. Matt and I feverishly sent each other seemingly hundreds of texts a day whenever we were apart, confident that we could never tell the other exactly what we felt for them. I felt like I needed to write down all the cute things Matt said to me, but there were so many that I just couldn’t keep up.
The thing is, if we listen to Hollywood, we can fall into the dangerous trap of believing that giddiness equals being in love. As I watch shows like The Bachelorette and hear of all the people who dream for a “fairy tale ending,” I kind of cringe inside.
Not that you can’t live happily ever after–Matt and I are living proof that you can–but I worry that sometimes people equate the idea of commercial romance (flowers, candles, little gifts/notes, passionate kisses) with what being in love is all about. And while I think those things are wonderful and important in a marriage, I have come quickly to the realization that real love is so much more than a chick flick could ever show.
My mind goes to the Brad Paisley song that says:
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
We’ll look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I’ll look at you and say and I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...
People told me to expect that feeling–to think that you’d been in love when you got married, only to find that it kept growing exponentially beyond your wildest comprehension as you grew more and more together.
I am starting to understand exactly what they meant.
As I spent a night apart from Matt this week, I realized even more how much our love had grown–how codependent we have come to be. With every event that transpired and every thought I had, I longed for him to be there so that he could share it all with me. I woke up numerous times in the night, instinctively reaching over to touch him, only to realize (with a start) that he wasn’t there.
Sometimes when I’m at weddings and see the giddiness, a small piece of me longs to be back at that stage of our relationship again and relive it one more time.
But then I think of the romance I have now–
A husband who takes my dishes to the sink for me every time I finish eating,
Hours of complete comfort and contentment as we play cards, without having to worry about entertaining anyone else,
Meaningful looks exchanged while in a roomful of people, knowing exactly what the other is thinking,
And, most importantly, bum smacks every time we pass each other just because we can.
Sure, some people might need breathtaking helicopter rides, lavish candlelit dinners for two, and moonlit dips in the beach to feel like they’re in love.
But I know with more and more clarity with the passing of time that I have exactly everything I’ve ever wanted in the small, simple acts of compassion, consideration, and friendship that Matt gives me every single day.
And to me, in the end, that’s what keeping up the romance is all about.