What Love Is

by Ginger on February 14, 2012

in Marriage

Valentine's Conversation Hearts

The first time I met my husband, I had no idea we’d end up together. He was a ridiculous college freshman (sorry honey, but you were), and I think I ended up rolling my eyes at him more than anything else. But things (and people) change and grow, and here we are 14 years after that first meeting, married with a little boy that combines his craziness and my curly hair.

The moments in our relationship when he gave me inklings that he was the one weren’t grand gestures of sweeping romantic love. They were the times he held me up before I had to ask, the times he showed me the man he was at his core, the times he gave something of himself that I didn’t know I needed. They were the times when he just…was who I needed him to be.

The fun and folly of Valentine’s Day is this idea of sweeping gestures, of romance and overthetopness. Which are lovely ideas, and can be fun to be sure. I love flowers and romantic dinners as much as the next girl, and those romantic gestures are a sure-fire way to get a smile on February 14th. But in my heart of hearts, I know true love is more than a box of chocolates or flowers. Showing your true love is done in the mundane…an unprompted grab to hold your hand while walking, or hanging up the photos you forgot you needed hung, or bringing you a soda because you might like it. It’s in the hard choices…compromising on where you live for someone’s career, or determining how to deal with sickness, or making the decision to give up certain things for financial security for the family. It’s in dealing with family and careers and kids and errands and each other. True love is in the everyday thoughtfulness and everyday mindfulness of acknowledging and SEEING your partner. It’s in the ways you help take stress and pain from each other, the ways you lift and support each other, the ways you think of each other in the little things. It’s getting the kind of yogurt he likes best, or in filling the gas tank up before you get home so she doesn’t have to do it on her way to work, or remembering to put the dishes away, or in a million other little ways.

So, to my husband on Valentine’s Day: Thank you for being a guy who wants to do the romantic gestures and takes me to dinner and buys me candy hearts. But thank you more for being the guy who, every.day. makes it a point to think of me. Who does the little and big gestures. Who brings me sodas and takes bedtime duty when I’m about to lose my mind. Who takes care of me when I’m sick and holds my hand when we walk. And who laughs with me, and makes me laugh, every day. Everybody should be as lucky as I am.

Lucky Man February 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I don’t deserve to have someone as amazing as you, but I’m glad that I’m lucky enough to get to be with you. I love you too, my baby.

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf February 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I really like this post. I’ve been together with my husband for 12 years. Part of me longs for the sweeping romantic gestures and the flutter of early love but you’re right, those gestures don’t endure. It is the mundane and how we support each other every day – how we’ve built a life together. It may not be sexy or always exciting but it is love.

Jennie February 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I love this post. This part, especially: “being the guy who, every.day. makes it a point to think of me.” Yes yes yes.

lemon gloria February 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm

This is just lovely. You are lucky and so is he, and it’s wonderful that you both recognize it – this is love. And you’re double lucky that you didn’t waste years and years finding each other! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Classic NYer February 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Everyone should be as lucky as your husband. 🙂

Cheryl February 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I love everything about this. That’s all, just love it.

Jamie February 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I really enjoyed this post. Definitely a true reminder as to what love is, a reminder ot look back on your relationship, and remember the good times, and also the times that weren’t as good, but you were there helping one another along the way =)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Maribel Reyes February 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I loved this! Because Valentines is everyday and not with chocolates or flowers but support and being there. You have described it so well! Exactly how I feel about this day and how I feel about my husband 🙂

Elizabeth February 14, 2012 at 7:43 pm

You two just radiate consideration both for each other and for your son. It’s a beautiful thing to witness, even from afar!

Christa the BabbyMama February 15, 2012 at 6:41 am

What an awesome tribute! Your husband must be a lucky guy – and so are you!

clara February 15, 2012 at 7:15 am

Oh lovely post, Ginger. Yes to all of it. Happy day after VDay, when things will carry on as they always have…strong and healthy and full of mutual respect.

Ridiculously I’ve got “That’s What Friends Are For” in my head, but if you strip out the cheese and just consider the words, it’s pretty much my relationship with my partner. Um, but let’s not tell him I said that. Because he hates an ear worm. 🙂

Hope February 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm

So sweet!!! My husband is also very good at the doing the little things that shows that he care. I’ll take that over flowers any day. Although I get flowers as well. :p

Anjie February 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm

This post was awesome and the best part? That your husband commented on it! *swoon* Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

ARC February 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I keep thinking I should take out that book about the Love Languages to understand how different people express their love. Some do the grand sweeping gestures, flowers & candy, etc. Others make sure the house is in good shape, gas tanks full, the extra $20 in your wallet, etc.

I think it would probably alleviate a lot of relationship misunderstandings if people realized that they way they show love may be very different from their partner.

Congrats to you and your hubby!

Craftwhack February 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Oh my gosh! I may or may not have just gotten a little teary reading this. Really lovely, and so true about all the little daily things that sort of just come about naturally.

Melissa @ Completely Eclipsed February 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm

What a sweet post for your hunny! Stopping by from SITS

Kate February 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

364 days of love is so much better than 1 day a year. You snagged a great one!

Sela Toki February 16, 2012 at 3:20 am

So sweet and what a perfect combination.

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