The man I love hates Valentine’s Day.
Despises, abhors it.
He hates my favourite movies (Love Actually and When Harry Met Sally) and he can’t stand cheesy romance. He is anti-marriage. He doesn’t bring me flowers and he certainly doesn’t write me love letters. He even (I kid you not) hates holding hands.
He is still, truly, without a doubt, the person I plan on spending forever with. He is still, most absolutely one of the kindest, most genuine, wonderful people I have ever known.
This lack of typical affection wasn’t always alright with me. When I first began dating him, I resented the fact that he wasn’t romantic. I pondered the idea that he must have used up all his romance on previous girlfriends. I imagined that if I waited long enough and did the right things, he would change and romantic gestures would pour out of him like one-liners in Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan films.
I was wrong. Oh, so very wrong.
Seven years later, he is the same person. And I’ve come to accept it. I haven’t completely changed either—I still love a good cheesy romance (a smart one, it has to be witty). I love flowers, and the idea of getting flowers, love letters, all the oh-so-typical gestures of love. I fought, hard, for awhile to change him, to bring out his romantic side, to show him by writing him love letters and cooking him special meals what he was supposed to do for me. But, to no avail—although he definitely enjoyed my cooking.
He does this: he values me. He treats me like a treasure. He listens to me. He loves my son. He brings me tea. He gives me space when I need it, and holds me close when I need that, too. Wherever he is, or I am, and whatever particulars the previous day held, he texts me good night and good morning. He builds me things. He wholeheartedly loves me-–and he shows it, in so many ways, all the time.
That is enough for me. That is far, far more than enough. The beauty of falling in love with someone is that they are unique to you; they bring facets to your life that wouldn’t normally be there. I know this—that your loved ones will never fit into a mould. They’ll change, they’ll grow, and in some ways they’ll remain the same—whatever happens, it is out of your control. Maybe one day he will romance me in the traditional fashion. Maybe he never will. The truth is, it doesn’t matter.
I can buy flowers for myself. I can indulge in cheesy movies with a girlfriend and some flannel pajamas.
There are so many, many ways to show love.
Author: Keeley Milne
Editor: Travis May
Photo Credit: Wikipedia