Remember all of the times that you don’t feel better. Every argument that ends with more issues unsettled than when it began. All the times when you wish you could bottle the passion he had in the last three sentences and give it back to him to save for later use. Remember all of the times he made a good point, but it was a point you didn’t want to hear. You were being selfish, but the words came spilling out before you had the chance to think it over. Remember the times you want to scream at the very top of your lungs, because it may be the only thing that saves you. As he keeps his emotions as tight as a spool of thread, yours explode like popcorn kernels in a microwave.
He loves you, and you know it. You wouldn’t be here if he didn’t. You can see it when he looks at you, feel it when he reaches for your hand. You knew it from the very beginning, in the way you never had to wait around for his call, or wonder where he was. You knew it when you realized that he had a special smile, a real one that he saved only for you. He waited all these years for you and he knew what wanted from the very start. It was you. And by some act of God, it still is, even after all of this time. You’re one of the lucky ones.
But remember all of the times you don’t feel that way. When you think it will never work. When you forget about how he made you light up on your first date, and the way you felt butterflies for the first time in your life. Remember the times you sit alone because that’s the way you feel, alone. When you have forgotten the 1,329,012 ways that he has made you a better daughter, sister, athlete, student, and friend. Remember the times when the tears streaming down your face feel like they could fill up an entire lake. Because he can’t read your mind, because he misspoke, because he didn’t act the way you thought he should.
Remember those times, and remember them well, if you ever want to understand the most significant moments at which you grow as a person. The very second at which your heart and soul start to expand, to make room for someone else. To understand the point in your life when you realized that there is something more sacred than being right all the time. There is something more special than trying to make someone else your essence of perfection. Perfection is a myth, promulgated by people who I can only assume must not experience real love in a real relationship. Serious relationships are work. Hard work.
And those times that you’re remembering, the ones that suck, those are the most important. It’s easy to be happy when the waters are calm and the sun is shining. But those times you’re remembering, they push you to the very edge of your being, to see whether this is something you are willing to fight for. And finally, remember the times you fight for it. Not each other, of course, but yourself. Remember the times you admit that you were wrong, and you were selfish. Remember the times that you remind yourself that this man is the best thing that has ever happened to you, and that you won’t ever let him go.
And once you’ve done all of this remembering, go kiss him or hug him for just a second longer than normal. Because if you really love him, there will be more times of trouble, but they will be worth such a bountiful reward.