Single folks or those that have ailing relationships presume that I have it good. I sneer while they’re expressing their points. Especially when they’ve based their notions on the fraudulence of Instagram and Facebook. In no way are my boyfriend and I perfect. I’m not even talking about little fights, here and there, not perfect. I’m referring to that moving mountains, chest pounding, I hate/love you kind of tenderness.
In June, Boobie and I will be reaching our two-year mark. To many of you, those that have sat in the trenches for decades, this is nothing. To me, it’s everything.
My longest relationship was long distance and four years. When you’re in Virginia, away at school, and the one you love is five states above you, four years seems like two. Because of this remoteness our flame was often a flicker, the honeymoon phase simmering long before it should’ve.
Boobie and I are differen’t. We’ve crossed thresholds that I’ve never spanned with anyone before.
Staycations turned living together.
Families intermingled, his cousins as important as my own.
Never telling me to ssshhh when my voice is too loud.
Boogying in the kitchen with me while I cook.
But things aren’t always good. As crazy as it sounds, it’s these trials that I’m most grateful for. I’ve never fought fair, previous relationships’ arguments always ending in goodbyes or anger. I’ve never packed and left and come back again. I’ve never had a man text me to ask me when my parents and I would both be home, so he could show up to apologize to all of us. I’ve never cried during reconciliation. I’ve never loved so hard. If it weren’t for the bad, there’d be no good.
Here are a few things that love has taught me:
1) Never check your boyfriend’s phone unless you are ready to misconstrue everything inside of it. Don’t go searching for his reason for silence unless you are prepared to realize that he’s still falling out of love with his best friend, that doesn’t want him. Be prepared to doubt the first three months of your union. Feel broken hearted and betrayed.
Yell as if you want god or goddesses to hear you.
Overreact and scream cliché things like, “You never loved me anyway.”
2) Trust is everything. We were given intuition to use it and we too often neglect it. Love is not incessant. It’s understanding and kind, but it also knows when habits fall to the wayside and the euphoria is no more. If you feel like you’re drifting, you probably are.
3) Check in. We call each other during every lunch hour. Some days he forgets, other days I’m in meetings, but if we ever go too long without it, he or I will casually say, “I missed you at lunch today.”
4) Dance together. Boobie doesn’t dance, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t push him on the dance floor and try to force him every once in a while.
5) Be you. Don’t hold back on what makes you, you. Do your happy dance when you’ve accomplished something, if he loves you he will laugh.
6) Know that IT won’t always be amazing. He’s tired, your tired, perhaps you both are. Life isn’t a romance novel or movie.
7) Be vulnerable. Too often I place my arm over my stomach or angle my flaws so that the man I love won’t see them. When someone truly admires you, they notice every little thing. I’ve been caught trying this and been pulled from my camouflage.
“I know what your body looks like and I love it. Don’t hide it.”
8) There will be secrets, at first. Slowly things will begin to unravel and it’s your choice on whether you want to stay when you discover them. However, listen to all that surrounds the undisclosed. Our partners will surprise us with stories from their past that’ll redefine the respect we have for their triumph.
9) If you’re thinking about when it’ll end, you’ll never fully be INSIDE of your relationship. Think about now, right now.
10) Fight to love his mother. Even if she doesn’t love you back. A lot of women walk away from a man’s family, because of slight differences, but don’t realize that the folks you share blood with just might bring you back together.
11) Don’t tell everything. Sometimes your girlfriends/boys aren’t as forgiving as you are. If you tell them every little thing that goes wrong, they’ll hold on to disdain that you’ve let go of. Lean on friends during the most pivotal disasters, but work out most of your issues between the two of you.
12) Kiss. I can’t stress this enough. We both work demanding jobs and sometimes we can’t schmooze the way we used to or want to, but kissing takes absolutely no time at all.
13) Don’t ever embrace hierarchy. The quickest way to hurt someone you love is to make him or her feel inadequate.
14) Don’t force it. Love is a natural thing. If you find yourself praying for rain, exit before the storm. The thunder that arrives will not be the roar of passion that you’ve been waiting for.
Happy Valentines Day.