A while back, I wrote a piece about how I thought I was falling for someone, and if it was going to happen, what I wanted our relationship to look like.
Go check it out. It took me years to figure out what I wanted—needed—it to look like. Not just for my own happiness and health, but for the happiness and health of my partner.
What I needed was a teammate.
Not a prince, or a savior. Not even a best friend.
Someone in my corner. Someone that would share life with me—the wonderful, the wildly exciting, the sad, the scary. Someone that even when we fought, or were mad, or misunderstood each other, we would never forget that we shared the same objective—that we were on the same team, and that, at the end of the day, we were fighting to be back in the same corner. Ours.
We all have ugly sides, less than perfect sides—the part that is just tired and cranky after a long day, and doesn’t want to do anything besides watch Despicable Me and zone out. The part that is sad, and stressed, and needs love (when we are hardest to love). We also have sides that are beautiful, but for many, maybe a little too much—sides that need to hug tightly, several times a day. Sides that love to be told they are loved, and tell another they are beloved, because ifeelsomuchloveforyouitburstsfrommysoul. Sides that crave adventure and excitement with the person that they also want to spend a day on the couch with, playing Monopoly and eating ice cream.
Sides that are wildly complicated and, when it’s right, fit together in a way that is, to quote my fiancee, so damn right.
I wanted someone that would see all my sides. And love them all. Even and especially when I couldn’t love them.
I wanted someone that would allow me to see theirs. Allow me to love all of them. Even and especially when they couldn’t.
A team isn’t made up of perfect players. A team is made up of players with different strengths and weaknesses. And through working together, their efforts determine if they are a successful team, or if they are the destined for failure.
Our relationship has been and continues to be a team effort. From the beginning, we declared no judgement—and it has allowed us to get to really know each other. The good, the bad, the ugly. The wonderful. The forever.
We work as a team. There are never “compromises”—things that feel like half wins and half losses, resentments building, “Why can’t you understand my point of view” feelings. Because we can talk about everything, without feeling judged, or cornered, or scared. If something is more important to the other, we do it. We don’t keep score, or a tally—I went to the sports game so you must watch The Notebook. Who cares about that silly stuff? We do things because we’d rather be together than without. And when we want to do other things, we do them. And then we share them.
We remember something so simple, that I think a lot of people almost miss it.
This is the most important person in my world. My partner. My teammate. And we’re in this together.
When we decided that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, it was a team decision. We decided to get engaged.
Our marriage is going to be a team effort. Raising children. Figuring out money, and where to live, and how to spend Christmas, and all of the magic and beauty and sadness that is going to fill our lives.
Our life is going to be a team effort.
So why should our engagement not be?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: author’s own