Love exists within the cracks of the big moments. It’s not about the flowers, socially-mandated holidays, vacations to picturesque locations. It’s in the minutiae, the little moments that you don’t think to recognize. The way they know exactly where to massage your neck when you say it hurts. The way they know that you’ll grocery shop for an army, vow to cook every meal, then order take-out that night. The way in which a weekend away makes you crave your home, not your actual home, but them: they are your home.
Love is not often about the big moments we see on television. We’re not urgently kissing in the rain under street lamps. We’re not running through airports and declaring love to you with an audience of a hundred other strangers. We’re not eating dinner by candlelight on a rooftop. We’re not being pushed up against walls, desire and lust coursing through us.
We’re falling asleep in an entanglement that works with us. We’re developing a language that only we can understand. We’re helping each other get better, have more joy, experience life in new ways. We’re remembering to grab honey at the grocery store because they like it on their bread in the morning. We’re looking at a menu at a restaurant and knowing exactly what they’ll order. We’re coming home after a weekend away to a cleaned home. We’re appreciating these small gestures that lie within the cracks of the big gestures. We’re moved by them knowing what will cure a hard day, because they know us, they’ve taken the time to get us.
It’s a weird thing when you realize that this person has been knowing you for a while now. They’ve picked up your quirks. They know your moods and your antidotes to said moods. They know when it’s time to leave you alone and when it’s time to pay attention. You’ve both been learning each other and thankfully within the discovery process of who you are, they’ve stayed around and they’ve been insatiably devoted to knowing you. As you have been with them.
You thought love was romantic gestures, but it’s actually right in between the big moments. It’s that day to day familiarity that nobody but they get to have with you. It’s about realizing that you are so incredibly known and still loved. It’s in the 364 days that aren’t Valentine’s Day. It’s in the absence of worrying about whether they love you. It’s right there, in the middle of you two, like a secret you’re both in on. It’s in the boring life moments, the absence of drama, the absence of a need to worry about their intentions. They are there. You are there.
Love is about a sorry that means they are sorry, not a bouquet of flowers used as a stand-in for something genuine. Love is the intimacy of waking up to the same person, smelling their morning breath, and making them a coffee in the way they like it. Love is in that level of familiarity that breeds a true connection, one that strengthens over time. Love is finally feeling like you’ve found a person that eases your commitment issues, that makes you feel less alone in the world, and who knows that the best birthday present they could ever give you is a Starbucks latte delivered bedside. The cracks in between the big moments. The every day, the steadfastness of a persistent love that makes you stronger and feel more capable. The kind of love that gives you an absence of insecurity, that, truly, amazingly, makes you feel wanted, known, and undeniably loved.