Saturday, September 3, 2011

True Love

If there is one thing I have been convinced of in the past year or so, it is that true love really does exist. When I started coming to my own sense of self last year, and reached the point where I realized that I would be much happier single than I would ever be in an unhappy relationship, I began really looking, exploring what I wanted in a relationship. I saw two examples of relationships that I thought were similar in type to what I would want. My mom's parents, you always knew they loved each other, just with this like, incredibly special love. My grandpa would talk about meeting her, and how he just kinda knew she was the one for him, and you could tell though she wore years and the regular hardship of life on her body, that his love for her had only grown, and he loved her the entire way through.

I also looked at Scott and Carolyn, people who just fit together, who still seemed as interested in each other as they did as newlyweds, four years and two kids on. They are also very very physically affectionate, which is something I've always related to, and I saw in that something I wanted, affection that would go past the courting and early stages.

I started looking for love, but then at some point realized that I just needed to wait for love to find me, that if I wanted what my grandparents had, maybe I needed to wait for the whole package, not to do the finding, but to be found.

And then I was found. In the place I least expected, by a person I would have never guessed existed behind his screen name. And I fell, head over heels in love. A couple weeks after he expressed interest in me, I kind of knew, though it took a few more weeks for my mind to catch up, and accept it.

I remember as a child growing up, seeing all the Hollywood movies about "true love", like Ever After, the Princess Bride, and then like, suddenly realizing that it was not some Hollywood invention, but this is -real-.

I walked into my first marriage with the anticipation that it would be hard, but that it would ultimately be worth it. I was right about the hard part, wrong about it being worth it. With Andrew, things just seemed to fall into place, and seemed easy. Not that the circumstances of life were easy, but we were easy. It isn't this perpetual act of trying to fit a round peg in a square hole, but a round peg in a round hole. We fit. We match.

But if there is one thing I wish I could tell everyone, that I could scream to the world, it's that true love is real, and that it is worth it. It is worth whatever it takes, whatever waiting, whatever preparing, whatever uncertainty, whatever risk. You look on the surface of the risk I took - leaving my home, leaving my country, to marry a man I'd never met in person*. But I knew, I just knew. Where I tried to know with Janardan, I just knew naturally with Andrew. We were sitting in the hot tub in New Zealand, telling this guy our story, and he was shocked, but then said, "Well, when you know, you know."

And as I lay here in bed, next to this man I love more than I thought possible, who loves me more than I've ever seen in someone, thinking over our life together to this point. I can't believe that just nine months ago, he was beginning to register on the radar, and ten months ago, I had not the faintest idea or feeling. It seems insane that such a small amount of time has passed, because in some sense, a new life started when we came together - our life. And it has been rich with experiences and beauty. Every day, every moment is special. Even if we're fighting about the rules to a card game, or Andrew's getting pissy because of the traffic. It's our life, and I love it. I feel so lucky to be a part of it. It feels so unique and rare, because I know there is no one else out there who I could have this with, but not because I don't think something like it exists out there for everyone. I think true love is out there for anyone capable of putting someone else before themselves.

And I hope those who haven't found it will, and won't accept anything less, because there is nothing that makes you richer in life than love.

*Now I feel like I need to add a caution here, that I don't think everyone should just go out meeting everyone from the internet all around the world with reckless abandon. Like, only do it if you're sure, because there are a lot of people who will prey on you, and do bad things to you just because you will trust too easily, on the internet and off. At the same time, you have to back yourself to know the difference. If you value yourself, you'll know, and you'll know which way to lean. But don't take the risk with someone else when you don't value yourself. Number one thing is that you aren't really in a place to be with someone else if you aren't comfortable with yourself. The ability to be perfectly happy single is, I think, a vital part of being ready for a committed relationship, most of all to make sure you are not taken advantage of.

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