Three years in and I have no regrets!
Some of you don’t know that, but I had the reputation of a “hopeless romantic” in college and I always aimed to prove the world that the love I dreamed of existed! When I met Mr. Right, who also, quite ironically, turned out to be Mr. Unromantic, I had no idea what hit me! Now don’t get me wrong, I hate Valentine’s day and I loathe the stupid “All I Want For Christmas” song, but I did expect romance that will live up to my nickname. In turn I’ve probably had more ice buckets splashed on me, than the ice bucket challenge saw in the summer of 2014! During the first months of our relationships, I was extremely frustrated with the lack of songs, flowers, poems, cards and all the rest of it. As I was getting to know my future husband, I soon found out (with bitter disappointment, that is), that I probably won’t ever hear him whisper sweet nothings in my ear, or receive hand-made cards filled with detailed descriptions of his feelings for me, inspired, of course, by my inner beauty. I just wasn’t dating that kind of man. Instead I dated and eventually married Mr. Unromantic. I always thought that love changes people and can unlock doors to find its way even through the thickest of walls. Well, It did. To my surprise though, it changed me and my ideas of domestic bliss and marital happiness. And now, a few years later, I can say with great confidence that I love him and I make sure I tell him how blessed I am to have him!
Also, I ought to do so… I picked him and its too late to swap now!
If your husband is currently washing the dishes, while feeding you grapes and planning a gift scavenger hunt for you, or setting a romantic dinner table that will put your friend’s husbands to shame on Instagram, don’t be quick to feel sorry for me and my Mr. Unromantic. The story continues…
After we got married I wanted to mingle more with other married couples, or with our friends who were in serious and long-term relationships. The sweet couples I remembered from a few years back, the very same people who were constantly exchanging sweet poems and posting pictures of candlelit dinners and big rose bouquets were no longer the same people. Many of those couples broke it off before my eyes or were all tangled up in so much drama. It was then that I looked at my husband and was thankful for all the moments he did NOT publicly declare his love with a Facebook status, send me flowers, chocolates or cards, but was instead there for me. No drama. Just there for me. It was then that I also realized everything he did for me that screamed: “I love you”. Alas, I was on a different frequency the whole time and didn’t get the message.
I finally learned what love sounds like, looks like and acts like in reality. I finally realised it was love when he was touching my hands in winter and asking if I am cold. It was love when he offered to move in together, but I was too stubborn and made him wait till we got married. It was love that he patiently waited for me and let me have it my way. It was love when he had to drive me home after every date and then drove back to his place. It was love when I took up knitting and he gave me a limited edition of carbon needles to knit with. It was love when he poured wine on our third year anniversary and added heart-shaped ice cubes, though I know the only joy these gave him was when they melted in his glass (he hates heart-shaped-everything). It is love every time he washes the dishes and puts the toilet seat down.
I realised I was in a marriage built not on roses, chocolates, grand gestures and passionate, but empty declarations.
I was in a marriage based on the ability to withstand the aggravation of dirty socks being perennially left on the floor indiscriminately around the house. I was in a marriage in which no matter how often I would forget little things that complicate our routine – it didn’t matter. We love each other all the same. Now that is a marriage, I believe can withstand whatever tests come its way!
Looking at other couples over time, I can’t help but notice how their grand displays of affection, accompanied by the most expensive gifts, are usually a cry for help and attention, as well as a display of their own inner insecurities. At least in most case, that is.
In conclusion, I would just like to give you this piece of advice to take with you. Do not compare yourself to others and most importantly never compare your relationship to that of others. If you haven’t received any flowers to upload on Instagram, look for other signs and gestures that say “I love you” better than cards and chocolates. Look for everyday love and you will find it. Some men make wonderful, honest, husbands, who help around the home, are handy with tools and most importantly are good fathers. Believe me, that’s so much more than most women in “romantic relationships” will ever get! These men are just romantically challenged, but love you all the same, if not more. They are not stupid – they know you put up with their occasionally crude jokes and their disabled sense of romanticism and appreciate your efforts too. At the end of the day love trumps romance. And it’s okay if they are not romantic.
I will end my article with one of my favourite love quotes:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Nowhere does it say: “Love is romantic”. Nor does it say love ought to be romantic.