One of my grad school homies once asked, “How did you know that Brian was ‘The One’?”
I think she expected me to list my husband’s best qualities, or perhaps gush about the details of our romantic love story.
But I did neither of those things.
Instead, I told her that Brian stood the test of time — specifically, 4 years of enduring my particular brand of crazy before getting engaged.
Of course, there’s also our emotional intimacy, shared values, physical attraction, trust, big laughs, and the hard work of excellent communication.
But to be honest, there are plenty of kind, smart, fun men out there with whom I could have enjoyed such things. My early 20′s is proof of that.
So my choice for a life partner would have to be a man who’d proven that he could endure The Fire, right there beside me.
Because that’s what Life is — fire. It’s the fiery fun of love, adventure, inspiration, and passion. It is the fiery pit of pain, anger, sh*t storms, and disappointment.
The right partner is someone who is afraid of losing you through betrayal, neglect, poor communication, or even death, but who is brave enough to risk it all just to taste the experience of loving you.
Which is just…wow.
As I think about tomorrow’s money-making commercialized holiday for lovers, I am reminded of what Love between two people truly looks like.
It’s not about roses and heart-shaped boxes of sweets, although those are always nice to receive. Rather, it’s about partnership. It’s about the words that were recited during our wedding ceremony, which even today make my heart pound, my eyes well up, and my nose get all stuffy:
“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
~Louis de Bernieres
How did you come to choose your life partner?