The other day someone asked my partner, “hey how long have the two of you been together?”
To be honest, we get that question a lot.
After 21 years, people are surprised to see our connection. Some of it I attribute to a generous helping of pheromones. We’ve always had a mad attraction. And that is just plain good fortune perhaps, but I don’t know for sure.
What is the possibility of meeting that someone who just does it for you day in and day out?
I used to think that love was a matter of geography, which is not a romantic idea at all. But consider this: before the internet—where we can meet someone from pretty much anywhere—we kinda had our pick of local loves. If they did not appear at work, church, the community pool or some other such convenient locale, we had to hope to bump into them on vacation or through an ad in the paper.
And what are the odds of this person local to you having this miraculous mix of pheromones that you’re going to dive head long into eternity with?
Furthermore, it seems that these pesky buggers dissipate into thin air after a few years, a few struggles, a few arguments.
A scary thought.
This is why I say that we’ve been quite lucky. Ours seem to have found permanent residency in whatever part of the brain or whatnot in the body that stores “attraction hormones.”
Now I’m about to get a little June Cleaver on you (in case you don’t know who that is, picture a fifties housewife).
Ours is not a typical relationship. I’m a homebody who prefers to cook and launder more than the average female. Nothing wrong with that, you say?
No, but I mean, I love doing laundry. I love cooking. I love organizing and re-organizing. I love being on top of everything at home. Or maybe I’m OCD? Probably some of both.
Luckily for me, my man likes all my little quirks. He likes being looked after, some say I coddle him. I do. He coddles me, mainly emotionally—I need a lot of affirmation, and he knows how to give it. Sure, we’ve had plenty of arguments. We’re both fiery and stubborn and he’s right all the time. Except that I think I’m right all the time. And I don’t admit to things very well. And life has handed us some truly tricky situations to navigate as partners.
So what, then, keeps our love rocking better than on day one? It might be this (the list before the list):
I still put on lipstick before he gets home. Not just any lipstick…he has a definite opinion on shade.
I still think about what kind of day he’s having and make dinner plans accordingly.
I still listen to his thoughts and ideas like I did when I met him. And he listens to mine, and laughs at all my jokes and mimics my Polish mannerisms because he thinks I’m so darn entertaining.
I still make sure the fire is blazing and the candles are lit and the music is on when he opens the door.
I still wave him out of the driveway, and he still waves back and blows a kiss my way.
He still notices everything new I’m wearing, and compliments how I keep our home running smoothly.
I help him pick out his ties in the mornings (he’s color blind), and honestly still drool over him in a suit.
I still make his lunch for work and he still makes my breakfast when he’s at home.
I still wear lingerie under my Lululemons.
I still hang his suit, so he can head for the bath…which, you’ve guessed it, I’ve run.
He makes all the phone calls I avoid because I hate the phone
He misses me terribly when I’m gone but is genuinely excited for me when I say I’m leaving for another long distance trek somewhere that will take a month. We rarely travel together, our interests are different, but time apart has always been something we’ve considered important.
He still finds new ways to make love to me, still kisses me like he did when we first fell in love, and still tells everyone that I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
We’re not big on anniversaries, or flowers on the right day, and we both look when a pretty girl walks by.
He sticks around when my girlfriends pop over and makes us all tea and leaves us in stitches with his antics and jokes.
We spend all day reading, talking, f*cking, drinking tea and more f*ucking (sometimes making love will not do).
I’m not suggesting that you copy and paste the above to your relationship, indeed, a lot of how we live might not be appealing at all. All of that is our own personal code for a vibrant relationship, but these are things that span the test of time and space.
1. Listen like it’s the first time you’ve heard his words.
2. Make love like you’ve just discovered his body.
3. Laugh with him like it’s the last time you’ll hear his joy.
4. Cry with him like he’s just revealed what makes him vulnerable.
5. Dream with him like there’s nothing to keep you from making it all come true.
6. Be honest about what you need and ask him for the same.
7. Give your time to him as if this is the last moment you’ll have together.
8. Kiss like every kiss is the last one.
9. Ask for what you need as if you’ve never asked before.
10. Treat him like he’s your best friend, even when he’s not.
11. Forgive him when he messes up. It will be your turn sometime.
12. Love him with the best part of yourself, and while you’re at it, love yourself the same.
13. Feel free to say ‘I love you and this won’t break us apart’ in the middle of your worst argument.
14. Spend time apart.
15. Spend time together like you mean it, not just because you’re a couple.
16. Take every moment together for the gift that it is. Imagine the end and remember the beginning.
17. Be honest, even when you’re lying. Sometimes we say what we don’t mean, because we don’t want to be hurtful. But just admit that, and then say what you really mean.
18. Show him that he’s important enough for you to drop everything to attend to him. We all need a little of that.
19. Be real, your most authentic self, and ask for the same.
20. Agree to walk away if there is nothing left, and bank love like there’s no walking away.
21. Don’t be afraid to grow at different times and in different areas. Honor the differences, and remember that your partner is a seeker just like you.
22. Send each other letters. When spoken words are difficult, the written word can heal.
23. Get naked when words are nothing but well sharpened knives. Let your bodies bring you back to center.
24. Surprise him. Remind him that you’re magical.
25. Treat yourself as well as you’d like him to treat you.
Love is not a mystery, but you are. And so is he.
Author: Monika Carless
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Katie Tegtmeyer at Flickr
Facebook is in talks with major corporate media about pulling their content into FB, leaving other sites to wither or pay up if we want to connect with you, our readers. Want to stay connected before the curtain drops? Get our curated, quality newsletters below.