A long time ago, I wrote a letter to my daughter on Valentine’s Day. I wanted to write it to her before she fell in love for the first time. My thought was that once she was in love, she wouldn’t listen to me anymore. What I wanted to tell her then, and what I told my son a few years later, is that love is not a race. Love should be built on a foundation of respect, friendship, and attraction. If you are lucky enough to find someone that you can share all three with, then you need to build the next level. An appreciation of each other’s differences, a willingness to support each other’s dreams, and an understanding and commitment by each person on how to share the responsibility of sustaining that partnership now and in the future.
Love changes over time. That doesn’t mean that it fades, it means it changes. At the beginning of a relationship there is an urgency that sometimes blinds you so that you can not see the challenges that will come. But as time goes by, those challenges rear their heads until you can no longer avoid them. Life changes. Responsibilities change. You change.
No matter how hard you try to keep on track, you will veer off at times. Hopefully, you will meet again at a crossroad and choose to continue on together. Communicate. The importance of that cannot be overestimated. Even more important, listen. Be willing to change. If you cannot or are not willing to change to make things better, then as sad as it is, it’s over. But if you can, and if you value the other person, then you can have the happily ever after that you want. Appreciate and show your appreciation. Don’t take it for granted that the other person knows you love them. Live and love like it will all be taken away tomorrow and then you will see how beautiful it can be.
P.S. Trust enough to be vulnerable and love enough to give the other person your strength when they need it.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy