Your Perception Of Love Is Bullshit

Someone once told me that true love means 100% happiness. That it means perpetual beauty. That your true love will never make you feel less than perfect.

To be blunt, that’s utter bullshit.

As young girls, we’re lead to believe that one day, Prince Charming will appear. He’ll be strong and handsome and will tell us how beautiful we are every day. It’s implied that he’ll do his share of dish washing and laundry folding and won’t leave wet towels on the bedroom floor. He won’t snore, or stay out late on poker night, and he will never make us feel like anything less than the lust-inspiring vixen we have worked so hard to become. (Thanks, media!) Prince Charming, you see, will be perfect for us, because we deserve him.

Now, I’m not saying that we should be settling for less. Nobody – male or female – should be with someone who treats them poorly, disrespects them, is unfaithful or abusive or is an asshole in any other imaginable way. I think a lot of us stay in bad relationships because we don’t want to give up – but that’s a whole different tangent.

Simply put, I’d like us to re-asses what “true love” means. Does true love mean blind devotion, even in the face of betrayal? Does it mean surrendering the right to be one’s authentic self for the pleasure of the other? Does it mean repressing our feelings or avoiding arguments because that would indicate imperfection?

I’d venture to say it means none of those things.

True love is about being the most authentic, disgusting, absolutely bare-souled version of yourself and having someone still think you’re rad. It’s helping them break down their walls and discovering that they’re breaking down walls you didn’t even know you had. True love isn’t perfect. Sometimes it means bickering. Sometimes it means full-on fights where you don’t even want to look at them because you’re so angry. But true love means knowing you’ll work through it. True love means having someone know all your quirks and habits and flaws. It means that they will sometimes point these flaws out, and you will feel stupid and ridiculous and probably a little hurt. But true love means they’ve pointed it out as a means to help you own the behaviour, whether or not you change it is immaterial.

True love sometimes means wanting to spend every waking second next to them. Sometimes, it means you want your own damn space without them all up in your bidness and knowing that they will understand if you don’t want to cuddle right now. True love is dirty dishes and mortgages and fighting children and being so frustrated with each other that you want to scream.

True love is a choice you make every day to cherish and support your partner through both good and bad. True love is not 100% happy. It’s not always beautiful. It’s not about how perfect they make you feel. It’s not the faerie tale ending you’ve dreamed of. True love is blood and sweat and tears and sacrifice. It’s realising that the flaws that make us human are what make us capable of love. And it’s knowing that, despite the flaws, you’d pick them all over again.


The Way You Love Me

The way you love me is understated. It’s silent, rarely spoken, never hidden but likewise never flaunted. It’s buying sriracha and not gagging when I liberally douse everything I eat with it, and only laughing a little when I eat too much and my stomach hurts. It’s playfully teasing me about my veganism but sending back my veggie burger with cheese when I’m too shy to bug the waiter.

The way you love me is under the blankets, my cold feet pressed up against whatever warm body part I can find. You’ve never complained about it – not once, not even when I wore ridiculously cute shoes that were incredibly inappropriate for the weather and lamented my frozen toes for hours afterward. It’s pushing me to the far side of the bed even though we both know we’ll wake up pressed together with limbs entangled.

The way you love me is a quick fix of my skirt’s hem when I didn’t even notice it was tucked. It’s your eyes scanning me over, drinking me in, and the appreciative “you look great” that I would doubt coming from anyone other than you. It’s taking so damn long in the shower that I eventually give up and just hop in with you. Once I do, it’s in your expression watching me scrub myself – such a mundane action, but your shy half-smile makes me feel like I am the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.

The way you love me is a lazy Saturday with no kids and no pants and a marathon of classic movies we’ve never seen. Steve Martin is running around as The Jerk and your head is on my chest and everything in the world seems to stand still. The movie ends and I notice how regular and even your breathing is, and I feel so blessed to have this moment – this little flash of perfection.

The way you love me isn’t loud. It isn’t flashy and those who don’t know you would completely miss its existence. But to me, the shine in your eyes is as unmistakable as the sun; it’s always there, even when I’m not looking for it.