“We have to recognize that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.” ~ Cornel West
I’m a romance junkie, there’s no doubt about it—but my shiny bubble of champagne, chocolate covered strawberry goodness has just popped.
My darling, our beautiful honeymoon of fizzy first kisses and plump red roses and blissful dates, is over.
The perfection is shattered—smeared with my tears and stained with your frustration.
The roses you once gave me with shaky, excited arms, have withered and grown prickly thorns.
But, it’s not that we are headed for a break-up—hell no—we are just learning about real love.
Real love is not a piece of cake.
It takes real work, real dedication and real vulnerability, with bricks of fierce commitment and a big sprinkle of fiery passion.
This part shouldn’t be romanticized with flowery prose or delicious, decadent as dark chocolate words. Because it’s real.
And it really scares the sh*t out of me.
We’re starting to see each other, in new, harsher light, where our flaws and baggage are more visible.
My independence, once a beautiful gem you admired about me, suddenly makes me cold and distant—disconnected and a little bit mean.
You finally notice how I avoid intimacy like the plague—how I look down to avert your gaze so I don’t have to be as vulnerable as you’re willing to be.
I don’t want you to see that.
I wish you could only know the pretty, shiny things I carefully presented to you in the beginning.
But time passes, and my real-self emerges. So does yours.
I experience the less-than-delicious scent of your stale morning breath (sorry, my love) and the jagged, unwavering intensity of your stubborn streak.
We see past batting eyelashes and plump, juicy lips—we see into each other’s darkness, fear, soft spots, beauty and pain.
I’m a little heartbroken.
I long for the honeymoon period of butterflies in my stomach and whisky-secented whispers and late nights spent making out under a blanket of stars as our skin glowed phosphorescent beneath the full moon.
I long for the wistful days when I first knew you.
That was easy—effortless and fizzy, like a pomegranate mimosa on a Sunday afternoon.
We were carefree.
Now, we have a home together—dishes to wash and a thick stack of bills to pay.
Our lives have merged in such an intense way—our hearts intertwined like eager threads, stitched together with flecks of brilliant gold, love and struggle.
When the honeymoon is over, authenticity arises from the sparkly stardust of sweet first kisses.
It’s raw—it can look disgusting and grotesque, but what’s real is always supple and beautiful.
Real love grows like a stubborn vine, thick and hearty, unable to be killed off easily.
We disagree—get frustrated as f*ck and disagree some more.
Then we hold hands tighter than ever before.
We laugh harder and love harder, with fiercely vulnerable hearts.
We learn to set our sparkly egos aside and say, “I’m sorry.”
Even though I’m shedding tears for what once was, I’m glad the misty magic has evaporated.
The honeymoon is over, and now I can see you, for real.
You aren’t so mysterious anymore— neither am I.
This is a whole different sorta magic,
Now we can get to know each other
And be more honest.
And be in love—beautiful, difficult, imperfect, love,
Yes, we can be in love,
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock