If you peel away all of the boundaries in between you and your partner, the very last layer standing between you and unconditional love is trust. To trust too quickly is naïve, but to fail to find it is cowardly. It is something that grows over time. It is built by the tender moments you share when she proves how much you mean to her. It is forged in the fires of your toughest trials—those times when she’s standing in the flames with you, holding your hand. Trust is fortified by promises stacking up into stone pillars that will hold you both above doubt.
Some couples never peel back that final layer. Love is scary, and trusting it can be even more frightening. Love is vulnerability. When you put your heart in someone else’s hands, it is only natural to fear that they will drop it. We build nets of suspicion so that it doesn’t shatter on the rocks when it falls. We tether our hearts with every doomsday scenario we can imagine. We brace ourselves for the day that it slips, and that every worry is validated. All of these things we do to protect our feelings and to preserve ourselves, in the end, hold us back from what our love can be.
To truly and fully love her, you have to walk the tightrope without a net. You have to take the risk of being wounded. You have to let go of your defenses and focus on reality.
You have to peel back that final layer of love.