Love is hard.

When I was a little girl, I thought love was really easy. It was just kissing and holding hands and roses and laughing together and sentimental moments. It was princes and princesses and....yes, as cliche as it sounds...it was Happily Ever After.

Yeah, I know, I was completely delusional.

As I grew up, I started to realize that maybe things weren't that easy. Texting and sexting and falling for the wrong people (x100) and alcohol and fleeting feelings....these things kind of blurred love. I fell in and out of love within weeks. I was hot and then I was cold and then it was over. That was kind of my jam.

Here's the thing. None of that was love.

Why?

Because I bailed when it got hard.

The commitment to those people wasn't real. I was in love with someone until I didn't like them anymore and then I GTFO (usually before they could hurt me). I was in it for the fun and the games and the whatever else, but as soon as I stopped liking that person (even for a second), it was over and I was on my merry-little-way.

Issues, am I right?

This has all changed with C, and I'll tell you how. Every so often, I don't like him. I love him, I definitely love him, but I don't like him. I'm sure he feels the same way about me - sometimes I can be a huge pain in the ass. But in the end, all of that doesn't matter. I'm still here and he's still here and we talk it through and build a bridge together and get over it.

But HOLY FUCK is it hard sometimes.

That's the thing about real love though. Love is the commitment to see things through, no matter how much you dislike that other person at the time. When you see old people who have been together 50+ years, the reason you say, "That's real love!" is not because they're holding hands in the picture, it's because you're recognizing the amount of effort it takes to stay together for so long. You know that they've probably been through some traumatic shit and seen it through and they're still smiling at each other. That's real love.

I know that no matter what happens between C and I, I'll always stay with him and he'll always stay with me.

That makes things hard. Running away is easy. Turning away from the person causing you pain or upsetting you is easy. Sitting down and talking it out, facing the issues together, that's where things get tricky. Knowing that you -have- to make it work out because you're going to be together for a long time.....that's where you're relationship is tested.

To be in love, you have to be tough and gentle at the same time. You have to be tough enough to handle being emotionally stepped on again and again, and you have to be gentle enough to forgive your SO for doing the stepping. On the other hand, don't kid yourself into thinking you won't step on your SO a million and one times. You will. Trust me, you will.

When I was a kid, I wanted things to just be easy all the time. I thought Happily Ever After was the goal. Sometimes, when I'm grumpy or impatient or bored, I still do. But as I get older, I realize that the struggle - the hard stuff - is what creates growth in my life. This goes for everything. Getting through the hard parts, the hard things, is what I remember most. This is no different for my relationship. When we come out of the storm stronger and more committed than ever, my love grows deeper. If there wasn't any of that bad stuff to test my relationship, then how would I know how good it could be? How would I know how strong we are?

So if you're in a relationship with someone who is amazing and it still feels fucking hard, don't give up just yet. Give up tomorrow. Keep giving up tomorrow until you both get through it and you come out of it with a stronger relationship and 50+ years behind you, okay?

"Nothing worth having comes easy." And yes, that includes relationships.

 

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