There comes a time after the “honeymoon” phase and before the “my partner is really the bee’s knees!” phase…
…where you’re smack in the middle of an argument with someone you love about something that truly doesn’t matter.
We stand there, blood boiling and hit with the question: is all of this really worth it?
Here are 10 affirmations that you are indeed with an epic human—and it is worth it.
1. Long romantic walks on the beach often (always) result in fistfuls of found garbage collected to be properly re-discarded. Yes, each little piece of human evidence we see on the street/beach/park attracts us like magnets. The best part is trashy walks are still very romantic!
2. TED talks and other mindful media. Visions of birds with plastic in their stomachs, unfortunate food industry truths and positive quotes are sent to your inbox. They make you believe that fixing this world is possible. These are great shares and even better table time discussions.
3. You’re enjoying the harvest from last summer’s organic garden. Dinner—as well as almost everything your partner consumes—is mindful.
4. Movie nights often include fantastic documentaries on that ancient laptop you got refurbished years ago, plus sharing tea and maybe a toke.
5. Your purchasing patterns are conscious of the amount of trash created. You’d actually prefer not to buy it than to have to take all that plastic home. Easy tips that have changed my life can be found in Amy Korst’s wonderful book The Zero-Waste Lifestyle; Live Well By Throwing Away Less. You and your partner don’t seem to forget your cloth grocery bags because you’ve practiced remembering them for some time now.
6. You find it easy to support and “like” the things they share online.
Personal story: In online dating, I like to be friends on social networking sites. Last spring, I met a seemingly super cool guy—he liked yoga, ate real food, was into radical self-expression, our talks were inspirational and he was someone I felt oddly and happily drawn to. He lived far away so we kept emailing and became friends online, hoping to meet some day.
On day two of our online friendship his status said, “My penis is the size of an acorn… No seriously!” Day 3 he posted a gory photo and the caption, “Imagine the song you would play during a rampage.” The next week proved this behavior was normal and acceptable to him. When we spoke about it, his response was “You think that’s who I am? That’s not me!”
The online side of your partner is a part of him/her.
Their posts are their interests and their opinions—and it’s their way of interacting with the world. Whether it is to get random attention (like the guy above), to spread awareness, to market him or herself, or to get points in Candy Corn Saga or a Farm with Zombies, just know what you are getting yourself into.
7. Your partner sees the positive opportunities in all situations. They want to learn and they enjoy growth and change. In fact, Burning Man is on the to-do-list for just those reasons: to learn, to enjoy, to grow and to change.
8. In times of stress they amaze you with their ability to keep composure. Although sometimes their need to breathe deeply is annoying as sh*t, we are glad they take deep, calming breaths. We are grateful for every breath they take. He/she enjoys introspection and works on themselves, making the relationship stronger which results in a more profound experience.
You take turns being the first one to apologize and practice lowering the ego in arguments sooner than later.
9. Because their compassion flows deep, they feel great sorrow when things aren’t right. Social injustice or a spirit being treated badly can bring them to tears. They see life in all things.
10. They stand up for the underdog. They stand up for themselves. They stand for justice. Their integrity and honesty wow others. The two of you practice loving each other in a way that allows you both to feel free because that is the only sustainable way.
And we remember again that as partners, we are nothing more than roommates of this earth that have mutually decided to spend some time together. We’ve decided to share some human experiences. There is something beautiful inside our partner that inspires us to be better humans every day.
It’s totally worth it.
Love start with ourselves:
Apprentice Editor: Jamie Khoo/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Alessandro Valli/Flickr