First off, I promise this post is not as juvenile & inane as the title implies. Obviously relationships are not something one can approach with a “check-list” in hand. At least not exactly. Anyhow . . .
Tonight my husband & I were lying in bed & I started laughing about something. I don’t remember what it was, but my husband responded by telling me I have “an unsophisticated, semi-masculine laugh,” “kind of a barroom laugh.” He proceeded to say that after he hears me laugh he half expects me to follow it up with “Hey, ya want another beer?” or “You wanna go fishing?” This is not because these are things I actually say (I’ve only been fishing once in my whole life, for the record) but simply because of how my laugh sounds. He went on to clarify that he actually loves my laugh because high-pitched ultra-feminine laughs annoy him.
A lot of wives probably wouldn’t be too fond of this scenario but my response was to laugh uncontrollably for about 5 minutes straight because I found the whole thing so damn hilarious. This situation prompted me to think about how much I love our relationship & the brutal honesty we’ve always had with each other. We’ve been together for over 10 years now (married for almost 3 years), but even when we were just teenagers we were always blatantly honest with each other. It is one of the greatest building blocks of our relationship & I can’t imagine it any other way. The fact that we felt so comfortable with each other so quickly & seemed to know almost instantly that we COULD be so honest with each other was, I believe, one of the main reasons we were attracted to each other & how we knew, even at a very young age, that we were onto something special.
Quite often in life people have asked me “How do you know if he (or she) is the one?” Obviously there is no REAL answer to that question as it’s not something that can be objectively or scientifically measured. But if there is an answer it’s probably something like this: When you’re comfortable enough with someone to be 100% honest with him & can tease each other incessantly & have fun doing even the most mundane things, well, maybe then he (or she) is the one. Or maybe there is no “one” person but a range of people who could be right for you. But when you find one of those people, hold on because it’s so worth it. (You can read more about this idea here: https://athicketofmusingsblog.com/2014/01/24/10-ways-to-simplify-relationships/)
This leads me to my next point. A common theme I hear today is that relationships grow stale over time. The passion dies out, real life wears people down, chemistry fizzles, & divorce or break-up begin to seem inevitable. While this is certainly a realistic picture of how many relationships work, I don’t believe it HAS to be this way. If you have the raw ingredients right, I think people can be in love & keep up the passion & chemistry for a life-time. (I’ve seen it done.)
I haven’t lived that life-time yet, so I make no claim to be some kind of relationship guru or genius. But I will say that after over a decade together my husband & I are still very much in love. Yes, our relationship may be a bit more predictable now, but a lot of that is just due to growing up & getting older. But the passion isn’t gone. The chemistry is still there. We can still tease each other about our respective “faults:” my big forehead, his gigantic skull; my unsophisticated laugh, his countrified way of saying certain words (ok that last one applies to me too but for different words). And we can still make each other laugh over & over again.
Trust me, we do fight. But I firmly believe that it’s healthy to fight, as long as you know how & when to make up. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: getting married doesn’t mean you turn in your humanity. If you love someone, & especially if you live with them, you will fight occasionally. That is just human nature & it’s no big deal. Consider that you have probably fought with any previous roommates you’ve had, be they siblings or college friends, because any two (or more) people who live together long enough will eventually get on each other’s nerves at times. Some fights will be about really stupid mundane things like why one of you left a bunch of dirty dishes in the sink. And some will be over more legitimate issues. It’s just life. I’ve always felt that if I couldn’t argue passionately with someone I couldn’t be passionate with them in any other ways either.
I don’t know why I’m writing this tonight. Honestly my mind has been filled with all kinds of ideas lately & relationships have not been among those ideas at all. But this is what came to mind tonight & for some reason I felt compelled to write it. I feel so incredibly blessed to have met my life partner at such a young age & to have somehow managed to stay with him all these years, through high school & college & now into young adulthood. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging because I’m not. I just want to give people hope that love really can last a long time. And despite a lot of portrayals in the media to the contrary, relationships really can stay interesting over time.
I have no idea how kids might affect our relationship & to be honest that is one reason I’m inclined to hold off on parenthood for quite a while longer. I know everyone tells me “you’ll never be truly ready to be a mom” & I know they’re right. Anyway, I’m straying from the point. I’m not even sure exactly what my point is here but maybe it goes something like this: Every person is different so naturally every relationship is different. Thus there is no ONE prescription for success in relationships or marriage & no 100% sure-fire way to know when you’ve met “the one.”
But here are a few good pointers:
- When he calls you beautiful AND sexy
- When he kisses you on the lips AND the forehead
- When he thinks you’re as gorgeous when you first wake up as when you’re all dressed up & ready to go out on a date (Or better yet when going out on a date means just staying home together)
- When you can discuss anything & everything together & never feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. And when you can be together & say absolutely nothing at all & be comfortable with that too.
- When even the most mundane things like grocery shopping become fun just because you’re doing them together
- When he can tell you your outfit is atrocious & you can laugh, thank him for his input, & continue to wear it proudly (This scenario applies in reverse too (me to him), for the record.)
- When you realize that you will never be 100% CERTAIN that he’s “the one” & that you’ll never REALLY KNOW if you’ll live the perennial “happily ever after,” but you’re willing to take the chance anyway
- When he supports your dreams & goals in life & pushes you to be the best you can be at everything you do
- When he values your brain as much as your body & your body as much as your brain
- When he calls your laugh unsophisticated & semi-masculine & you find this truly hilarious because you know he is probably right & you’re so glad he loves you for this silly trait 🙂
That’s all, folks. I realize this isn’t my most profound or articulate post ever. Nonetheless I hope the sincerity behind my words has translated to you tonight & perhaps made you laugh somewhere along the way as well.
*P.S. I think you could replace he with she in the above list & they would still apply.