February 13, 2023

True Romance vs. True Love.

I love romance.
I love being given flowers, taken on dates, to be told I look beautiful.

I love seduction.
I adore romantic songs, sunsets, and shared bottles of wine.

My boyfriend gave me all of those in the beginning.
He still does, although it’s not as intense, as it once was.
It’s not why I love him.
It charmed me.
Seduced me.
I loved every moment.

But none of that made me fall in love with him.

I feel safe with him.
He drives me to places and opens doors for me.
He is bigger and stronger than me.

He fixes stuff when it’s broken.
But mostly, I feel safe with him because I know that he is always there for me.
I know that he will do everything he can, not to let me down.
I trust him with my secrets.
I trust him not to betray me.

I felt safe with him from the first day I sat across from him, in the little cafe where we talked properly for the first time.

He makes me feel special.

Not by giving me flowers or saying I look pretty.
But by showing up at the beach with a body board for the kids to play on.
And by listening to me talk about small things which are important to me, and remembering the little details.

I feel special when we are together, and when we are apart.

This Valentine’s day will be our third together, so we are still basking in the youth of our romance.
The sexy underwear and love poems are still with us, but our honeymoon period is slowly being replaced by something much more intimate.

We are exploring the intimacy of shared secrets—not the carefully chosen ones that we used to draw each other closer in the first weeks of blossoming love. But the darker ones, those that we wanted to keep hidden. The ones we feel ashamed to hold within us, that we wish we could escape from. Our shadows are slowly unveiling themselves to each other.

As our love takes hold, and the roots get deeper and stronger, we are finding ourselves falling into the comfort zone.

Sometimes he is grumpy and doesn’t show much affection.
Then I see all the care he has given to my plants that are at his house.
Sometimes he will seem really distracted.
But then he will tell me about an idea he has for our future.
Sometimes, I am crazy, difficult, and moody.

He soothes me, until I am not so crazy.

And he listens to me.

And I don’t always want to listen back—not straight away.

He waits for me.

We are changing as we grow, and our relationship is changing as we grow together, and become more intertwined.

We are different people, to those we were a year ago, and the year before that, and the year before that.

We fall in love and want to stay there forever, and I hope that we do.

The honeymoon is fading, but something else is growing.
A different kind of intimacy.
A much more vulnerable kind.
The one that whispers in the dark, I will always be here, by your side.

The one that strips off the covers, to expose the raw vulnerability of the inner self that has been hidden for so long.

Yes, romance keeps relationships sparkling—as wild nights and gentle mornings keep them fun.
But the core of a relationship is something else.
True love between partners is largely based on friendship and trust.

It’s easy to be romantic.
It’s a lot harder to be authentically loving.

“In love we find another connection altogether
Hidden beneath exchanges of confidence
Basking within physical pleasures
We discover the most elusive of all intimacy
That of the heart”

~

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