From the time I can remember, I’ve always insisted on going against the grain. I’ve never liked doing things within the norms of tradition because that would be so predictable, plus I don’t want to create any expectations. So I figured why wait to write about love on my wedding anniversary, which is more than a half-year away, when I can write about it on Thanksgiving or thereabouts, because after all, it is just the thing for which I am most thankful. I know…it makes complete sense to me too.
After seventeen years of being coupled and nearly fifteen years of being married, I’m still amazed at the lessons that Love teaches me. They are several, and even while many of us know them at our core, I think that these, in particular, bear repeating:
Love takes no less than everything.
Seriously, just when you think you’ve got it covered, you have to turn it up a notch or fine-tune it to keep it running like clockwork. However, unlike clockwork, it needs more than regularity and sameness. It needs spontaneity and diversity. Who enjoys taking the same route, after fifteen days, let alone seventeen years? Frequenting a different café or rendering an occasional surprise from time to time changes things up a bit. And, who knows? It might even be fun!
Love is not all about you! Don’t say I didn’t tell you.
Love takes an ongoing divestment of self, and submission of pride or haughtiness, to not constantly argue or be combative. Naturally, this is a lot easier when your significant other has a good track record of having your best interest at heart.
Love requires more than him saying “Yes, dear”.
Love also requires your voice. Say ”Yes siree, Bob!” sometimes, even when you don’t mean it. Say “yeah, ok” or something along those lines, and keep it moving for Peace’s sake! Some battles just ain’t worth it, I say. There are some matters that men just won’t understand, no matter how hard you try, or how compassionate or brilliant they are…and that’s really okay. Really, it is. You can get him on the next go-round! Booya baby!
In love, intimacy means more than sex.
All joking aside, real intimacy happens when there is more than just horizontal alignment; it occurs when two people are aligned in financial and spiritual matters, including long-term goal setting, parenting (if applicable), and life dreams. That isn’t to say that we must agree on everything, but it does mean that fundamentally, our values are compatible enough to allow us to grow in meaningful and sustaining ways.
Lauryn Hill captured it best when she said, “Fantasy is what we want, but reality is what we need”. The same is true about our impressions and expectations about Love. Real love lies beyond the fantastical and far beyond the horizon of any fairy tale, so I’ll take my hubby even after our worst days, when everything feels anything but right, and certainly after I’ve realized that I can no longer remember what it is we were arguing about in the first place.
Love wasn’t designed to be perfect, static, or untested. Rather, love is ever-changing and challenging, yet remarkably beautiful and worthy of obtaining. Yes, love takes us into an orbit beyond our comprehension, and into a place for which no amount of previous navigation prepares us. It takes us to a place where our egos are suppressed, sometimes against our will; but in the long run, we emerge better for the indelible impression it makes on us.
Sorry Adele, you’re my girl and all, but I’m writing the lines this time. Sometimes it hurts in love, but somehow, it lasts instead! So, maybe I will give hubby his birthday present on Thanksgiving after all!
I’d love to hear about your love-takes, or how love has affected you in a way that you don’t mind sharing. Come on, indulge me!
More Love-takes for your listening pleasure: