At the end of this month Scott and I celebrate our 13 year anniversary. It’s crazy to me that we have been together this long. It still feels new so I guess that is a good sign. As I reflect over our years together, and think back on all that we have been through, I realize that this is a love that has had plenty of highs and lows, fears and comforts, fights and agreements, fun and frustration, love and lust, disappointment and excitement, confusion and resentment, joy and passion, and most importantly friendship and commitment. I’m so proud that we have never given up. There was a time around year seven mark where we struggled. We were going different directions and not getting along. We decided to do the work and get on the same page rather than go our separate ways. Our love grew stronger because of it.
Through this relationship journey I have learned many things. I look forward to more loving and learning in the years to come. I know this love may not last forever but my wish is that it will. In the meantime I cherish these love lessons.
1) I’ve learned that love is in everything that you do. Love is a kiss goodnight or a romantic getaway. It’s the bite of food you share at dinner and the door he opens when you get to the car. Love is the fight that gets resolved without words, and the hand that gets held on a movie date. Love is in little things every day.
2) I’ve learned that love is mastering a sincere apology. It’s OK to be wrong or misunderstood. Saying, “I’m sorry” and meaning it, with no buts, no explanations, and no justifications, has been my biggest lesson. A simple, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me,” goes a long way.
3) I’ve learned that love is making time to date and have fun. Playing together whether it’s miniature golfing, a theme park, the water slides, a weekend getaway, or dinner and a movie; adventures always brings you closer together.
4) I’ve learned that love is patient. Not everything goes as planned and life takes you for turns you least expect. Just breathe and be patient.
5) I’ve learned that to love means to surrender control. Letting him take control sometimes allows me to trust and experience new things.
6) I’ve learned that it’s not your intention behind your words but how they are received by your partner. What I meant to say doesn’t always come across. Your good intentions may be misunderstood for negative ones and love is respecting how your partner feels regardless of how it hurts your ego.
7) I’ve learned that sex should be at the top of the love list. I don’t care how tired you are, how much your head hurts, or how much work you have to finish. Remind your mate that you are sexually attracted to them every chance you get.
8) I’ve learned that love means to be vulnerable. Being raw and honest with your partner will lead to comfort and a soft place to fall.
9) I’ve learned that I’m not perfect, I can be a bitch, I do make bad decisions, and at times my expectations are unreasonable. Live with anyone longer than a few years and you will quickly learn what you need to work on to better yourself. Love is recognizing you can not fix the other to be as perfect as you.
10) I’ve learned that love is respecting your mates family, regardless of your opinion of them. Every family has their own dysfunction; respect boundaries and don’t dwell in the drama.
11) I’ve learned that it’s OK to fight for what you believe in. True love respects differences and grows stronger because of them.
12) I’ve learned that love means you sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do to make your partner happy. Compromise is key. Go to that work dinner, attend that family event, or see a movie you would normally never see. I assure you, you will want that same respect in return.
13) I have learned that pointing the finger only makes you look stupid. There is no need to make someone WRONG so you can be RIGHT. To love means to talk it out without placing guilt or wrongdoing.
14) I’ve learned that a wink, a hug, a kiss, or a nod go a long way. Recognizing one another in a room is always a great way to show love.
15) I’ve learned to love means to listen. There is a difference between hearing what was said and understanding what you have heard. I now listen with focus and show more concern about what the other is saying rather than what I want to say next.
16) I’ve learned that love is forgiving. You can get in fights that seem like deal breakers and a month later not even remember what you fought about.
17) I’ve learned that the grass is not always greener on the other side so don’t take for granted what you have. If your love is good on the majority of the days, trust that it’s worth it and believe in the power of love to see you through.
18) I’ve learned that love is a chance you take. It’s a risky adventure but a fun one if it’s true.
19) I’ve learned that trust is a must, without trust you have nothing.
20) I’ve learned that you must remain independent of one another. If you don’t nurture your career, friendships, and family outside of your relationship you will lose who you are. Love grows when you maintain independence.
21) I’ve learned to keep him guessing. Be a fun, unique, clever, inventive, and exciting person. Acting a little crazy sometimes keeps love interesting.
22) I’ve learned that life throws you curve-balls. Just when you think you know all there is to know about love, life hits you with a reality check and you must learn all over again. Embrace change together.
23) I’ve learned that I need to stay strong when he is weak. In return he will do the same. Try not to fall down at the same time. Having a cheerleader in your corner who understands you when you are down is what love is all about.
24) I’ve learned that we are different people, and that what I once loved most about my partner is often what I hate. For example, I love he is passive, it means I can take control. However that passiveness sometimes means a lack of motivation to do things or makes decisions which then means I feel pressured to do everything. I love it but I hate it. Learn to recognize these judgements and move right on through. To love is not to change but embrace.
25) I’ve learned that love is seen and felt just as much as it is expressed.
26) I’ve learned that I can’t say, “I love you,” enough. Everyday is a new day, and every day deserves to begin and end with, “I love you.”
Love is taking the good from each moment.
If you have something worth holding onto, trust it. If it doesn’t work out that’s OK. Love is everywhere. Some people love many individuals in a lifetime, others have one soul mate for life. No matter what your story, learn your lessons, change, grow, and celebrate. When in love, not every day is easy, but every day is worth it!