June 28, 2022

A Beautiful (& Surprisingly Real) View of Love & Commitment.


A few days ago, I sat down to watch the season finale of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” on HBO Max.

The series is based on Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 bestselling debut novel of the same name.

I remember reading the book shortly after it came out and falling in love with the main characters: Henry, a librarian with a genetic disorder which causes him to time travel, and Clare, the artist he falls in love with and eventually marries.

I also remember feeling so invested in their love story, which happens completely out of the normal, chronological order and allows them to love each other in the past, present, and future.

The final episode of this first season culminated with their wedding, which, like their love, was a bit of a spectacle.

Due to the stress of wedding planning and his fear of disappearing the day of (because time travel can’t be planned in advance) present-day Henry ends up in the future. And a much older, much wiser, future version of himself ends up waiting at the end of the aisle for Clare.

As present-day Henry sits with his now-older wife on their nine-year anniversary, she presses play on their wedding video, giving him his first chance to see what their magical day was like.

Feeling guilty for not being able to show up when she most needed him, Henry says, sadly: “But I’m supposed to make you happy.”

Clare’s response is a beautiful, and surprisingly real, view of love and commitment:

“Henry, we’re not supposed to make each other happy. If we do, great, but that’s not the point.

We’re getting married. Not going on a hot date, or a vacation, or a weekend away somewhere, but actually getting married. I mean, look at us…do we look like we’re gonna go on vacation?

It’s like setting sail into a storm, and you know for a fact you both won’t make it out the other side. So what do you do? You cling on for as long as you can, because you know this is as good as anything ever gets.

Make my happy days happier…make my sad days bearable. And if you forgive me when I hurt you, I’ll try to do the same for you. Deal?”

Whether we’re married or in a long-term relationship or dating or just starting to fall in love (maybe all over again), isn’t this the kind of commitment we can all get behind? The kind of promise we all hope to be able to make one day?

A love that allows us to be both independent and supported. A love that offers us the opportunity to balance attachment and impermanence. A love that gives us the space to make mistakes and to find grace, both for ourselves and the one we love. A love that can last, no matter what life—or time—throws its way.

A love that is both magical and real.


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