When the magic of the beginning fades, we might be surprised by what is left.
I don’t think there is anything as electrifying as the beginning of a relationship, especially when we just know this person is going to be the one.
Meeting my husband was definitely one of those circumstances.
Before we even met, we stayed up every night talking until two a.m. We talked about everything and nothing at all and never wanted to say “goodnight.” We turned our souls inside out. We shared our fears and our dreams. We connected. We laughed—oh my goodness did we laugh.
No amount of time or words was ever enough. I wanted to know every single thing about him—the good, the great and the wonderful.
I still remember the night we met like it was yesterday.
The anticipation was heart-pounding. Butterflies were doing the tango in my stomach. I saw him out of my dorm window: he was wearing faded blue jeans, a white long-sleeve shirt with three buttons down the middle, and crisp white Puma sneakers. His caramel brown eyes sparkled when they met mine, and his smile immediately ignited my own.
I don’t think my smile could have been any wider. It became permanent, and I loved the aching in my cheeks.
We watched a Red Sox versus Yankees game and ordered a grilled-chicken-with-green-peppers pizza. After the game he invited my roommate and me for ice cream and showed us around the town, where he’d grown up.
It was so simple, yet life-changing.
I remember thinking to myself after our first date that he was the person I was going to marry.
He gave me a feeling that nobody had given me before. He made me forget about the past. He made me stop wishing and waiting for a past love to come back into my life. He made me realize I never should have been treated the way I was treated during an earlier relationship.
He brought me homemade soup when I was sick and surprised me with a three-page handwritten letter when I went home for the summer. He titled it “Ode to Briana.”
I used to long to go back to the beginning of our relationship, to dip back into that feeling of butterflies in my stomach and constant smiles spread across my face.
But what if the real magic of all relationships isn’t in the initial honeymoon stage? What if it’s in the middle, in the years to come and in the future we’re chasing?
We met when I was 19 years old and he was 20. I cannot believe how fast the last 10 years have gone by. We’ve grown—together and as individuals. We are not the same kids we were when we met. Everyone changes, but we’ve managed to let these shifts make our relationship better.
It’s an amazing thing to fall in love with the same person over and over again. To build a life together. Having someone know us inside and out is life-changing.
Don’t get me wrong, relationships are seriously hard. They are messy and tricky, and we have certainly had our share of challenging years. But we always choose to stay. We stand by each other, even when it’s difficult. We choose each other, even when we are sad and hurting.
Our marriage is worth the fight. It always will be.
Love requires an insane amount of forgiveness, because nobody is perfect. But don’t walk away from the hard stuff—go through it. See what’s waiting on the other side. The sun will shine again and bring with it the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen.
Stay. Love. Work on things.
I will always believe in the magic of beginnings—after all, that’s where all the loves stories stem from. But stick around for what’s to come, and you will find more love and happiness than you ever thought possible.
Author: Briana DeLucia
Apprentice Editor: Galina Singer; Editor: Toby Israel