Sometimes, when I look at couples who are head over heels in love, there’s a twinge of longing to feel that way again—especially after 15 years of marriage. Is it envy? Remembrance?
I think of the times that I loved—and lost. And the searing, singeing pain that came with letting go.
Because when you start falling in love, the thrill is like a firecracker that explodes in your belly and ignites you. But then it flickers.
It’s a roller coaster that dips and turns and swings you upside down and back again. And when the ride is over, sometimes you get off. But sometimes you want to keep going.
So, I took a look at what makes lasting love and found that it thrives on brief glimpses of firecracker-roller-coaster joy. But that’s not all it is. Not by a long shot.
Love is getting up at 3 am with a crying baby, so that your spouse can sleep a little bit longer.
Love is having someone pull your hair back when you’ve got a migraine and are throwing up in the toilet. And then holding you softly after it’s over.
Love is whispering back and forth right before going to sleep about anything and everything—from the leak in the basement to the squirrels falling through the chimney. Then falling asleep mid-sentence.
Love is kicking back and staring at your worst and your best behaviors rolled into one. And not running away from it.
Love is owning your own garbage and not making it about someone else. You’ll be happier when you do.
Love is looking for the good rather than pointing out all the wrong stuff. Both are probably true, but which would you rather hear?
Love is remembering that somewhere out there you have a mutual pact to help each other grow and expand. So speak with honesty and kindness when it is time to point out the stuff that needs work.
Love is looking into someone’s eyes and knowing fully that they are rooting for you. No matter what.
Lasting love is an opportunity to help each other mend old wounds and patterns. It’s a nuisance, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Because sometimes love hurts like hell. But when it doesn’t, it’s a helluva good ride.