When I was at primary school I went out with a boy for around five days and within two days we got married in the playground. To keep his attention, I had to buy him football stickers that he was collecting for his magazine. The next day a girl gave him more football stickers than I did, he unmarried me and married her the same day. That was my first taste of love, in the most innocent of ways.
Fast forward several years and I had my first full blown relationship. There were holidays, meeting the parents, arguments, tears, birthdays and Christmases. It taught me a lot about a more mature love, there were no football stickers, but emotional elements to it that impacted me and my understanding of love as a whole.
Then, years later, I had what I would now call a prolonged holiday romance. It was fun, full of lust and I had a great time, but that inevitably came to an abrupt end.
It wasn’t until now, my late 20’s, that I truly understood what love really means and what love can really do to every part of your life. When I talk of him I often find myself using the most overused and cringe worthy clichés to express his importance to me. And I’ve come to accept that these clichés are clichés because, as humans and with only the use of words, they are the closest we have been able to get to describing the highest of love for another person.
I would never be able to completely explain him, not with a million words or in a thousand languages. He is the first person to accept me, fully. He takes my flaws and everything that I don’t like about myself and loves them with the same grace and truth he does everything else. I’ve never known that before. I don’t have to pretend; I don’t have to hide anything or be anything or anyone else than who I am, the good and the bad. I am in absolute awe of him and every aspect of him, I am in love with him to his very core and I am eternally thankful for him and this level of love.
Often, when it comes to relationships, especially dating we can find ourselves adapting to the point of change. What I’ve found is that there is only so long we can put up a façade before it becomes crippling, and if we are really having to watch what we say and what we do then is it really worth pursuing in the first place? We get into relationships because we see ourselves with that person for the long haul, and with the long haul comes life. Life is full of surprises, some incredible and some heart-breaking. A relationship is a partnership that stands side by side in all of life’s adventures.
Love isn’t about not having enough football stickers, or a dwindling holiday romance, love is about acceptance, your best self and your worst self. It’s about loving someone through it and beneath it all.