Growing up, I was always a sucker for a good love story. I listened to songs about love, I pictured my future partner, I was obsessed with romantic films and to be honest, only one of those things has changed; I have the partner. I’m a very soppy person and I always had unrealistic ideas about what love should be, instead of what I could be. Much like a lot of people, I saw it as the one thing that would make my life happily ever after. I always had career ambitions and I always wanted to see the world but I wanted to be in love whilst doing these things. Love was the forefront of my mind and still is, really.
I pictured a man who would sweep me up in his arms every time he saw me and I pictured me always looking immaculate. Even first thing in the morning. I genuinely thought love just made people instantly perfect and happy (blame Disney). I pictured there being no fights and him clinging on my every word and agreeing with my opinions on everything. I pictured waking up and smiling at each other every day and our whole lives being about us and love itself.
Now, I’ve been with the same man for 3 years and 3 months. We’ve lived together that whole time, we’ve had so many ups and downs, I don’t know how we are still as strong as we are. We’ve fought and we’ve screamed in each other’s faces. I don’t wake up smiling every day, the younger me didn’t realise that I would never be a morning person. I rarely smile in the morning. Even on Christmas day. Forever a grump. Anyway, we’ve been through a hell of a lot together and we’re still a unit. He’s my best friend, my partner and my favourite person all rolled into one. He doesn’t sweep me up in his arms every time he sees me, I very rarely look immaculate, he doesn’t agree with everything I say and he knows my flaws. He knows them better than I do.
That’s the best part for me, he knows my flaws and lord knows I have them and he still loves me. He still tells me I’m beautiful and talented, he still stands by me. This has always been something of a mystery to me; I’m a nightmare. But I know his flaws, I know his weaknesses, I’ve seen him at his worst and younger me would be surprised to know I wasn’t all that bothered. In fact, it was nice. It was nice to see that he wasn’t this ridiculously perfect person that I always thought I’d end up with.
Love to me isn’t romance every minute of every day, it isn’t striving for perfection and it isn’t judgemental. Love to me is being willing to make a commitment to somebody who you love inside-out, warts and all. Love to me is not grand gestures but the little things like knowing after a hard day, I get to cuddle him and be silly. Love to me is being able to be yourself and not striving to look or be perfect all the time.
I never thought anybody could love me for me. I’m bratty, insecure, weird, clumsy, complicated, talkative, argumentative, the list goes on. I never thought somebody could see all these flaws and love me all the same. I never really expected anybody to truly adore me. Love isn’t anything like I thought it would be. It’s a million times better. Having another (better) half of myself is something I never expected to happen and now that it has, even three years, three months, three homes and three cats later, that’s still overwhelming and incredible.