“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.” – Tom Robbins
This is something I have learned as I have become part of a long-term relationship.
As you know, I’ve only ever had one relationship prior to the one I’m in right now, that lasted little over two months. So this is the first (and hopefully only) long-term relationship I’ve ever had. Learning along the way the ins and outs of what can be like can be eye-opening, not to mention obliterating any hyper-romanticised ideas I had about relationships, many of them I didn’t know I had.
Now, obviously no relationship is perfect, but it can be perfect for you both. It can be your perfect. We’re often told in media what the ‘perfect’ relationship should be like. Unfortunately, this notion of ‘perfection’ is rooted in idealism, or to market products to you to show your love, otherwise you don’t love them, right? What utter bullshit. While obviously, if things aren’t working out it’s perfectly fine to go your separate ways, it’s easy, especially with the idealistic vision of love we’re sold, to jump ship at the slightest sign of trouble in paradise. It has to be a permanent honeymoon phase or he’s not the man for you.
You can be showered in gifts but not have love. You can stay at home or travel the world and not have love. While gift giving and expensive travels can and are part of love, they are not the definition of it. Every couple will argue at some point in their relationship, even if they love the ever living daylights out of each other. If you’re arguing all the time, of course that’s not a good sign. But things, even with the strongest of loves, will never be ‘perfect’ all the time.
So, what is love?
Honestly, I don’t really know how to put it into words, but I do know I feel it. While there are a million and one reasons why I love my boyfriend, when, in those moments of insecurity, we’ve asked: ‘Why do you love me?’ and we’ve answered in complete honesty: ‘I don’t know. I just do.’ That’s never been meant as an insult or half-measure, it was us both saying that, in our case anyway, in the weeks after us meeting our connection became more and more magnetic.
I didn’t know why. In fact, I felt terrified by it and tried to push him away. But as time went on, it became very obvious that we just couldn’t be away from each other. The connection was too magnetic to resist. It wasn’t sheer animal magnetism when you see someone you wouldn’t say no to them blowing your back out. It ran a whole lot deeper than that. Yes, we have our things in common, connecting in a way we didn’t with others. But when we met, and the more time I spent with him, then-single me knew in my bones that whatever relationship we had, be it platonic or romantic, he would be important to me in my life.
While we are the same in some ways, we are polar opposites in others, like most couples. We’ve had our bickers and disagreements. We’ve occasionally had our outright screaming matches, but my boyfriend is adamant about one thing: If we have a problem, to properly talk through it to fix it. Don’t let it fester. That, and don’t go to bed angry with each other. That, along with the love we have, has been at the foundation for having a healthy relationship: open and honest communication.
Being a sex blogger, you might expect me to put sex at the forefront of my relationship. I can understand why you’d think that, and sex is a very important part of a relationship for me. But with my boyfriend’s recent surgeries and recently diagnosed condition that has caused him a great deal of pain in his hip, it’s put him pretty much out of commission for a good while, with the odd time he’s been able to have sex. It’s not that he hasn’t wanted to, it’s that he’s physically not been able to.
Does that mean if we can’t for a while, we call it a day? No! That’s ridiculous. If we’re in this love for the long haul, though we’re not married, that includes in sickness as well as in health. Do we want to get back to being able to have sex when we can? Of course.
Yes, it has taken a toll on us as we’ve both really wanted to. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t. But in comparison to his current health issues, that is the least of our worries. His health is my top priority, and through some very difficult circumstances, it’s been love that’s been keeping us going through it.
One thing we have always been able to appreciate is that there’s a whole lot of love in our relationship, which, obviously, I want to continue.