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.