I will be the one who stays. This, I promise you.
I won’t turn my back. I won’t spin around and run like hell in the other direction. When our memories become clouded by arguments and our angry voices fill the air, I won’t imagine a life without you. I won’t pull away and retreat to an opposite corner. I won’t wish for anyone else.
I won’t leave.
Because I know that we are both imperfect. And I knew this wouldn’t be easy. I knew, going in, that we were young and restless. That we had dreams too big and beautiful. That we loved with too much of our hearts, but that’s okay. I wanted this. I wanted us. I wanted smiles stretched across our faces. I wanted laughter that hung in the air like a morning fog. I wanted the way our hands fit in each other’s palms, callous to callous, crease to crease, warmth to warmth in a way that just felt right.
I wanted you.
And I’m not just going to forget that when things don’t fall perfectly into place around us. I’m not just going to chalk it up to change, to growth, to time, to two people drifting apart.
I’m sick of the way the world loves now—like it’s temporary, like it means nothing. We enter into relationships with endings on the horizon. We make promises to one another that we don’t intend to keep. We hop from connection to connection, from person to person like we’re playing a game.
We’re supposedly ‘searching for the one’ but all we’re teaching ourselves is to find a way out when things aren’t perfect. We’re supposedly pursuing real love, but all we’re learning is how to leave.
But I don’t want that with you.
With you, I want the good days and the sh*tty days. I want the arguments and the raised voices. I want the stubbornness and all the ways we don’t see eye-to-eye, and probably never will. I want the contradictions, the inconsistencies, the hypocrisies.
I want to know you at you worst, at your lowest, at your most unforgivable. And I want to learn to love you anyways.
And I want you to know me. I want you to know how I bite my nails, how I lie, how I don’t always do the right thing, how I swear, how I’m shallow and imperfect and downright b*tchy sometimes. I want you to know my sass, my selfishness, the way I fight fiercely when I think I’m right, even if I know I’m not.
I want you to know me, flaws and all, and still find a way to love me and my mess.
Because that’s real love—loving someone for who they are, loving someone even as you fight and argue, loving someone when life is difficult, loving someone because you made a commitment to love them in good or bad, loving someone and not leaving when things get hard.
And so I promise that I’ll stay. I promise that I’ll be here. I promise that no matter what obstacles we face, I’ll fight with you and for you.
I promise that in a world where people leave, where marriages fail, where relationships break, where love fades—I’m not going anywhere. I told you I loved you, and I meant it. I’ll always mean it.