What you’ve gotta know about love

Is that it sucks sometimes!

Yeah it does.

I mean not the love itself… but the relationship in which love happens…

And growing up means knowing that love doesn’t begin and end at the crazy butterflies in your belly, or stolen kisses in crazy places or nervous tingles when the phone rings- real love, the kind that last for a really (REALLY) long time doesn’t stay in this airy stage. It grows. Into something bigger.

Sometimes your body may yearn for those butterflies- and sometimes your heart may weep out for attention- sometimes loneliness can consume you… In those moments you look at the one you’re doing the Love Thing with and you wonder if it’s worth it- Most times it is. But it takes growing up to know that the tingles go, and so do the butterflies and so do the nervous energies we all love about being in love.

But what comes Dear Friend is something deeper and wider and Oh SO much more wonderful. Something that when you have it you wouldn’t give up for a million butterfly feelings or a gazillion juvenile moments in crazy places.

What comes is a friendship so solid it makes all those rubbish times you went through a mere shadow of things past and things gone.

What comes are golden moments of stealing glances at the one you love and drinking in how much of your heart they fill up… In those  moments you see them in a renewed beauty you can swear you never really noticed before.

It’s normal to want what you once felt when you were in love and everything was brand spanking new… It’s normal to miss the high of those insane chemicals that make you skip and jump and bring out the child in you- it’s totally normal. But it’s stupid… utterly stupid to desire that so much that you throw away what’s deep and what’s real right now for an illusion of what used to be once upon a time.

Many years ago one of my mentors told me how silly it was for people who’d been married for years to “chase after tummy butterflies” all their lives.

“And in so doing,” she said, “they’re always off for the ‘next best thing’ and they’re constantly breaking lives along their juvenile path.”

When you’ve been married a while (and by a while I mean so long you’re scheduling intimate time) it’s so easy to miss an old crush- or even fantasize about a thing you once had with a certain Someone “that time…”.

It’s easy to paint wonderful pictures of what your life “might’ve turned out like” had you married “So-and-So” instead- but the reality is you didn’t. You married who you’re married to right now. And the reason the “So-and-So” looks so good right now is because you didn’t really get to live a life with them. You didn’t have to pay bills with them- go through rough pregnancies, nurse sick babies or wake up a gazillion times to hush your new borns-

You didn’t go through severe fights with “So-and-So” that threatened to end the marriage you’d poured so much into- so of course that old flame seems SO much more attractive right now-

In the grand scheme of things- chances are You and “So-and-So” didn’t really  have anything that was truly significant- because if you had you’d have married them instead. But you didn’t.

The thing you gotta know about love- true love- is that it’s not about feelings.

It’s not about feeling all mushy inside and it sure ain’t about your heart pumping chocolate and paw-paw juice all the time– Love is SO MUCH more than that. And if you really do “love” the one you’re with then you probably know exactly what I mean.

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