I always used to think that love meant bouquets of roses, romantic displays of affection and the guy standing outside your window holding a boom box over his head telling the world he is the one for you. I grew up believing that “the one” is always forgiving, will know exactly why you’re mad and will stroke your hair and tell you it’s okay when you go full on crazy and accuse him of cheating because he hasn’t replied to your text in the past two hours.
But real love isn’t like that.
Real love is not always agreeing on everything, it is not finding them to be the most beautiful, selfless person every single moment of your life together. It is quite simply finding a way to exist in the same space and put up with each other’s annoying quirks because in the midst of it all, you adore each other.
So honey, I don’t expect you to tell me I look beautiful when I roll over in the morning, my hair frizzy and sprouting wildly from my head with mascara smeared across my face and my breath smelling like second-hand smoke and red wine. I don’t want you to tell me it’s okay when I let my insecurities and paranoia get the better of me and I start accusing you of cheating on me, texting other girls and eyeing up women whenever we leave the house. I do not want you to agree with everything I say or lie to me just for a quiet life.
No, I want you to tell me when I’m being unreasonable and laugh at my hair and tell me I need a tic-tac before kissing me on the nose. I want those arguments about ridiculous things because we both know it is the only way we will grow.
I know not every day will be full of love, I know that sometimes you won’t think of me when you go to the grocery store because you’ll be preoccupied with other things, like work or college applications, and I know that more often than not pancakes and a coffee in bed will be our evening in Paris or weekend getaway to Rome.
I know sometimes it is not feasible for you to travel the miles stretched between us, that there will be times when we must rely on Skype and tired phone-calls, our words jumbled and incoherent as we both fall asleep with our phones pressed to our faces. I know there will be times when our beliefs do not fit, when we will argue about politics, that controversial news story or quite simply which topping to have on our pizza.
But my darling, that is what I love most about our relationship: that we challenge each other.
That you aren’t afraid to tell me when I’m being a pain in the ass and I’ll happily tell you when you’re being an arrogant son of a bitch. I love that we can spend Sundays ugly eating ice cream from the tub in our sweats and that you always listen when I feel the need to tell you all of the gross details about my time of the month because it’s always more endurable if you’re suffering with me.
I am glad that you tell me off for biting my nails and know that you are secretly grateful when I give you ‘the look’ for tugging at in-grown hairs. And honestly, I enjoy those mornings when we brush our teeth together and having someone to text when I’m on the toilet.
Our love doesn’t need to be like the movies, it doesn’t need to be perfect and neither do you.
I do not need hand written love notes scattered about the house or a foot rub every Friday after I finish work. I do not need a relationship based upon wanting to live in harmony, or one which is fit for social media and snap chats sent purely to make others jealous.
Because what we have, the honesty, the fights about who took the garbage out and sometimes having to work through each other’s issues is worth so much more.
It is real and raw and a little bit messy but it is ours, and you are mine.