We were sitting at her kitchen table, my friend and I, when her daughter walked in. I immediately got up, gave her a hug and congratulated her on her recent engagement. We all sat for a while, drinking our tea and chatting about love and marriage.
When I told the story of how my husband had proposed, my friend’s daughter asked me, “How did you know he was the one?”
It was a simple question, one I should have had an answer for; but I didn’t.
“Well,” I said, “I just knew.”
I paused, trying to remember, “I was so excited when he asked,” I said, “It just felt like everything was right.”
She nodded like she understood, and we went on to talk about marriage, houses and babies, the cornerstones of the American dream.
Later, on the way home, I kept coming back to this young girl’s question. I felt I hadn’t really answered it. It’s true that when my husband proposed I was excited. It’s also true that once I said yes, there was no turning back for me. I was all in.
But when I think back to the days before those days, I do remember bits and pieces of being a young girl who spent hours and hours trying to figure out love.
I vividly remember the first boy I ever cared about. I recall thinking that I’d die if he ever broke up with me. Months later, it was me, not him, who decided it was time to part ways. Insert new boy and: wash, rinse, repeat. By the ripe age of twenty, I met Steve. Wow, I thought: Now this is a nice guy. Cute, funny and smart; someone I could hang out with. When we first started dating, I noticed something was different. Being together was easy, comfortable, and fun. And maybe the first time, I had no angst over whether or not he cared for me as much as I did for him. Perhaps I was finally growing up…
Just a couple months later I began to think he might be: The One. And of course, being the analyzer that I am, I then had to wonder if I was crazy for thinking it. Hours and hours I spent, writing my in journals, racking my brain, all in an effort to understand just what love is, and how it worked.
Funny as it sounds, none of my angst had anything to do with Steve. He and I were fine at the time, dating, having fun and getting along fabulously. Instead, my internal concerns had everything to do with my personal fears.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of choosing the wrong person.
Fear of getting hurt.
What I didn’t know then, was that my qualms about committing to a serious relationship were pretty normal. Simply a part of the process we (worriers) go through when we fall in love.
We can’t love without risk. And we can’t risk without fear. (Profound, huh?)
So how do we know if love is worth the risk?
I am certainly no expert on love, but I have been married for, like, forever (okay, just over 25 years). Add to that the fact that I still like (and love) my husband, and maybe, just maybe you should keep reading. (Regardless, it’s my blog-of course I’m here to give you my thoughts.) So let’s continue. Below are the seven signs that you should take a gamble on love.
Love is worth your risk when your loved one…
1-Is there for you when the world isn’t. You know what I mean: You’ve got a fever of 102, your breath stinks, and/or you just lost your job (and self-worth). Life happens and when it does, we often lose our footing. When your someone is there to help you plant your feet back on the ground, well then, he’s a keeper.
2-Brings out the best in you. We are all here, I believe anyway, to lift each other up, and not put each other down. When our partner believes in us, it is somehow so much easier to believe in ourselves. But when the one we love isn’t in our corner, well…It makes for a long and lonely road.
3-Makes you laugh. Life can be amazing. It can also be so stinking hard. And frustrating (think dealing with the cable company’s customer service). Being with someone who can make you laugh along the way makes it all a bit more bearable.
4-Challenges you. Somehow my husband sees right through me. He knows when I’m procrastinating, when I’m whining (dang it) and when I’m not being fair. Unfortunately for me, he calls me out on it. (See number two.)
5-Loves you when you’re unlovable. I’ll admit, there may have been a time or two when I’ve yelled at my Steve unfairly. Perhaps once I made the flu out to be as bad as a terminal illness. And occasionally I can be a little passive aggressive. I’m not perfect, but neither is he. When your partner can overlook your faults and love you anyway, well that is a gift.
6-Enjoys your company. There is nothing better than having fun together. If you are lucky enough to enjoy being with your partner, whether it’s a big night out or a cozy night in, you’re pretty darn lucky. And seeing as marriage is forever, this is pretty darn important.
7-Contributes to your life together. So many good men lack the romance gene. But does it really matter? People show love in different ways. These same men who forgot the flowers are out there earning a living, helping bath your toddler, picking up your preteen from her school dance and/or mowing the lawn. They are doing what needs to be done. Contributing to your life together. This, my friends, is love in action.
So on this Valentine’s Day, if you discover your mate made the Tracy cut, be sure and thank him/her for being such a great partner in life.
And if you’re still out there looking for Miss/Mr. Wonderful, be sure and look beyond physical attributes, romance and your person’s (ugh) potential. Instead, take a good look at who your loved one is right now. Pay attention to the condition of his/her heart. Then consider whether such a heart deserves yours.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers!