With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I am in the mood to talk about love and how Master Jason and I view it. I am often told that I am lucky to have found someone like Master Jason. I am asked how I managed to find such a great guy and what advice can I give to others so they can find their own great guys. The truth isn’t pretty though and I don’t have any simply answers to give.
To be fair, you only get to see half of what goes on behind closed doors. We aren’t perfect. We fight more than we want to admit, we say horrible things to each other sometimes, and we lose our tempers. I’d love to say we both put each other first more than anything else and that’s what makes us work, but that’s not always true. Sometimes I’m selfish and lots of times he’s selfish. It’s hard work, tons of compromise and a truck load of forgiveness, even if we feel let down and betrayed. Hell there are times where I wonder why the fuck I’m with him and I’m sure he feels the same. What honestly keeps us together though is our belief that all of this work we’ve poured into the relationship will pay off… and somehow it does.
I’ve been sick recently (food poisoning) and as a result I’ve been watching nothing but sappy romance movies and getting annoyed with them. Love is weird. It’s fun and loopy and butterflies in your stomach for about half a year…. and then it transforms into the kind of love that picks up socks without saying anything to the sock-dropper. It turns into understanding that sometimes espresso is better than an apology. It becomes the tiny moments of breathing deep and counting to twenty before continuing a conversation. Love is knowing that you’ve gone too far but it’s too early to say you’re sorry because the other person needs half an hour to cool off. Love is realizing that you’re too tired to start over and that it’s actually easier to keep working at the garden you’ve already planted, even if you’re sick of the sun and tired of dirt under your nails.
I still have moments where I look at Master Jason and feel like my heart is so full of love that it’s going to burst, but to be perfectly honest, I rarely feel butterflies with him anymore. I’m not lucky in love. I work hard to keep us going, he works just as hard to remind me why we’re together in the first place. Sometimes it’s easy, and some days it’s the hardest thing we’ve had to do in a long time… we’re partners, through and through. We give, we take, we talk things through, especially after a fight. If we want those sappy moments romance movies have, we have to discuss it ahead of time and then work to make them happen. I’m the hopeless romantic in the relationship and he’s the realist. I have grand plans of what could happen and when it doesn’t turn out the way I imagined it would, he’s there to catch me and lower me slowly to the solid ground of reality. In turn, I help him to see the world through the eyes of a dreamer. It’s not Hollywood movie love and it’s not always perfect all the time. For those of you watching us, remember that you’re watching from a distance. I choose what you will or won’t see. I write it up and decide what words to use where. I try not to hide much from you all, but at the same time, I choose not to share every little detail either. True love isn’t something that just happens, it’s something that you have to work at, a lot. In my opinion, true love isn’t really love so much as it’s stubborn determination not to give up and an almost insane obsession with hard work that might not pay off the way you wanted it to.
I think it’s important to keep that in mind as you read through my blog posts. We’re not lucky in love. We’re hard workers who are determined to make this relationship work just as hard as we do. We may not have Hollywood’s version of love, but we don’t want that version either. It’s overrated and far too fake for my tastes. I want reality. I actually like the dirt and hard work part of our version of love. I enjoy watching something I work on grow and change and blow my expectations out of the water. I don’t like giving up and I hate feeling like a failure so when that temptation knocks on my door, I change courses and think about what I need to do to keep us going. I’m sure Master Jason does the same. We make sacrifices for each other, for our children and for the relationship. We choose to stay together through thick and thin (and over the holidays there was a lot of thin)!
To us, love isn’t just a romantic dinner or great sex or how easily we “click” with each other. For Master Jason and I, love is deeper than that. It’s choosing to make dinner every night, even when you are sick of cooking. It’s not complaining about the socks on the floor two feet from the laundry basket. Love is staying within the budget, even when those shoes you’ve been eyeing for months go on sale. It’s admitting that I’m wrong and then apologizing for it. (And I hate being wrong almost as much as I hate apologizing for it). For Master Jason, love is turning off a video game so that we can talk about something that’s important to me. It’s giving me back massages even though he doesn’t really enjoy doing that. It’s learning how to word criticism in a way that doesn’t sound like an insult (like when dinner isn’t that great or my writing needs a little work).
When he’s agitated or frustrated by something, I know that a latte will help improve his mood. When I’m upset, he knows a shoulder rub will improve mine. I like where we are now. I enjoy watching our love mature and grow with us, even if it does seem to take more work now than it did in the beginning. We have our ups and our downs. Some may say we have periods of falling back in love and then out of love with each other, but honestly I think that’s just healthy. It’s not fun 100% of the time and it’s not always easy, but that’s okay. Working through those times is what makes us so great together. It’s not that we’re lucky in love, it’s that we are willing to stubbornly work through the bad times and then gracefully enjoy the good times we have together.
We’re not just lucky, we’re stubborn too, and I think it’s important that my readers realize it too. What you see on my blog is not the product of a couple who hit the love jackpot. It’s the product of hard work and effort from a couple who fell in love and is choosing to remain in love, even when it takes work.