Love them when they’re awful.
When they’ve woken up late for work and got toothpaste on their shirt and didn’t have time to grab coffee and bombed their client’s presentation and had to work through lunch and got caught in the rain on the way home and picked a fight with their best friend over something truly petty and might have to go to the office on Saturday and it’s only Tuesday.
Love isn’t something you can pick and choose when it’s convenient for you to do so. Love isn’t just the easy parts. Love is every part.
It’s not that love isn’t easy sometimes. Sometimes, it’s a lazy Sunday and they’ve made breakfast in bed and everything is soft and glowing and perfect and happy. Every relationship deserves these moments. Those are easy. It’s getting past everything else — all the other crap that crops up that isn’t so second nature. But that’s what love is, loving them despite the reasons it’s sometimes easier not to.
And it’s often easier not to. When they’re in a bad mood and a bunch of little things are going wrong and they’re taking it all out on you, even when you had nothing to do with anything. Especially when you were only trying to help. It’s not fair to you to have to walk into that line of fire just because you live with them or just because you texted them at the wrong moment or just because you love them. So you will either retreat into your own corner, or they will go to theirs, and you yourself will fume about their bad mood, their short temper, their habit of taking things out on other people who had nothing to do with anything in the first place.
You have to remember to love them through these moments.
You have to remember to love them in spite of these moments.
Every facet of a relationship is important, because relationships are important. Humans are social creatures. We crave love. But relationships are also a constant stream of work, and more often than not, that work doesn’t stem from the idea that things are always either earth-shatteringly difficult or sublimely easy. The peaks and valleys don’t make up a relationship – it’s the spaces in between that flesh it out. And sometimes things are just that much harder or that much easier every now and again, and we conflate that to the people we love being a little more awful or a little more wonderful in turn. You can be a wonderful person and still have awful moments. It doesn’t make you any less good as a human being. But it’s in seeing those awful moments through and loving each other through the awful days and horrible moods that a relationship comes out stronger in the long run.
And eventually, as the relationship grows, you will both learn how to retreat into each other when things get awful. You will begin to go to them, and they will go to you – you’ll each run at first, because you’ll be unsure and unsteady and don’t want to miss out on what you can only hope is solace, but you’ll also learn in time to walk to them. Because they will be there waiting, and so you will retreat into them on awful days before you yourself become awful, and you will learn to be calm and say, this was my day and it was horrible and this is my problem and it is horrible, too. And they’ll listen and nod and understand and wait for you to finish venting before they say, let’s figure this out together. And you can, and you will. And you will do the same for them when they retreat into you.
Because that is a relationship, and in the good and bad and wonderful and awful parts, you have to remember to love them — this sometimes horrible and sometimes amazing other person who contains so much in their core that they are able to be themselves and love you simultaneously. Remember to love them. Remember to never take that for granted, because finding someone you can love so easily is just as hard as it is to find someone who will love you in return. Love them when they’re awful. And help them to remember to love you when you are, too.