"Your love story, I don't want to give away the ending, but both you and your lover die."
~Jarod Kintz, Love quotes for the ages. Specifically ages 18-81
What does true love look like?
That was a question I found myself searching for in my failed first marriage. I knew I didn't have it but did anyone else really have it either?
I had a group of eight wonderful women who helped me answer that question. We would meet once a month for a girl's night. My then-husband believed we just bad-mouthed our spouses and so I was being corrupted. But in so many ways the opposite was true. Yes, we weren't all in marital bliss but some of us, as I like to say, chose wisely the first time in legal bondage.
We went to New Jersey for a girl's weekend in early fall eight years ago and what burned in my memory was how each women's homecoming played out. Some simply walked to their door but a few others had a husband and children running out, excited to see them and hear about their weekend, exchanging stories of Dad/kid time adventures.
Then I went home.
My husband was angry and bitter that I had been gone. My kids were sad and relieved that I was back. There were no fun stories and excited chatter. There was only tension and blame. Something was wrong with my picture.
So I started to watch couples, really pay attention to body language and actual language. How do they talk about each other? Do they touch often? Do they smile politely when they share a gaze or does their whole face light up?
I began to see, whether in new relationships or ones spanning decades, what real love looks like. It was possibly the farthest thing from what I had been experiencing for an entire marriage.
I have so many people in my life searching for what they didn't have the first time around. They are much pickier and more selective, being, of course, older and wiser, with a probable laundry list (or novel) about what they want and why. Absolutely no relationship is perfect. There will always be occasional issues, hiccups, pet-peeves, and mistakes. But if you truly love someone that will shine through even during the times you want to use them as a speed bump (only in your mind of course).
If you are one still searching for your perfect mental speed bump take it slow, know your worth, and never settle. Make sure it's full of passion, respect, and most of all, fun. Find that person that makes you swoon with desire but can also make you laugh so hard you pee a little. Once you find him or her you'll know it was worth the wait.
"Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time."