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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week’s topic for Sprite’s Keeper’s Spin Cycle is Love. At first, I thought, hot damn. I’ve been struggling for something to write; this will be an easy topic to bang out (pun sort of intended). But writing about love is much harder than I thought it would be.

I’m generally not a fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s a contrived Hallmark Holiday designed to make you feel bad if you don’t have someone in your life or aren’t subscribing to the stereotypical notion of romantic love. I don’t hate Valentine’s Day, but I don’t measure the strength my marriage by whether or not I was showered with over-priced, half-dead flowers and a box of chocolate. It’s not a barometer of my love for my husband or vice versa. It’s much deeper than a sentiment on a card. More importantly, I hate the idea that you single out one day of the year to tell your significant other that you love them.

This will be the 13th Valentine’s Day with my husband (ooh, lucky number 13), but we weren’t exactly dating that first one. We had sort of started to, but not really. I think we were both seeing other people, because for various reasons we had decided it couldn’t work between us. But we liked each other, we “got” each other and liked spending time together. I clearly remember him sending me a little white teddy bear with a mug full of carnations or something. The romantic kiss of death, right?

Not long after that, though, we got by whatever was holding us up, and started dating. I think I knew pretty early on that he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with—which is why I kept pushing him away. He was actually interested in me, in what I had to say, in what I wanted out of life. He cared about my feelings and actually wanted to know what made me tick. How scary is that?

When we first got married I didn’t expect it to be wine and roses every day, but I do think I underestimated how hard marriage can be. You can love someone will all of your heart, but it’s not always enough. It’s much more than that. You have to do some work. Every day you have to get up and choose this person all over again. Every day you have to choose to get along, to fight battles together, to agree to disagree and be supportive of each other.

Contrary to popular belief, love does not conquer all.

I know that sounds cynical (I’ve been called that once or twice!). But I don’t mean to be. In fact, I’m a total romantic. But I’m realistic. I believe it’s the other 364 days of the year that really matter. It’s those days, that no matter what’s going on, no matter how tired you are, cranky about work or whatever else is bugging you, that you have to step up and treat each other with respect, compassion and kindness. It’s the quiet acceptance of someone for who they are (even if who they are is a rampant snorer!). It’s the daily little things you do for someone to make their lives just a little easier (even if they don’t notice). It’s putting someone else and their needs before your own. And it’s the belief, it’s the trust that someone is going to do the same in return. More than anything, it’s trust. Trust in each other that you’ll treat your feelings with respect and care. That’s love. And it’s the stuff of passion.

It’s not always easy, and I’m the first to admit that I’m not always successful. But I try. And so does he. And some days that’s all that matters.

So what does love have to do with it? Everything.

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4 Responses

  1. Amen to that!
    You’re completely right about the other 364 days. And you’re linked! (Seriously, well put!)

  2. For me, it has always been the small things that touch my heart. Flower, candy and jewelry can’t make up for a lack of caring and thoughtfulness throughout the year.

    Have a great weekend…whatever you decide to do! xoxo

  3. This is so true. If love could conquer all, I would still be married. I like what you said about everyday getting up and “choosing” that person all over again. Day by day is so frequently the way we must get along in life, and I think that really resonated with me.

    Thanks, and have a great V-Day.

    KJ

  4. Ya, see that’s pretty much what I said on my blog about Valentine’s day and people think I’m cynical because I’m single. Here’s to at least another 13 Valentines for you and your man

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