I’ve been asked how I know I love Eric, and to tell you the truth I’ve asked myself that same question. So how do I know?
I just do. I know that isn’t really an answer but it’s the best one I’ve got. What I have with Eric is different than any relationship that I’ve ever had before, it’s better than any relationship I’ve had before. It is completely free of judgement, it’s exciting and yet still comfortable. I’m not saying we never need a break from each other, I’m not suggesting that we never fight, what I am saying is that whenever I have thought about not being with him it has made me feel empty. He isn’t my reason for living, I can do just fine on my own, but he makes my life feel important. He makes me feel both safe and at home.
Then of course there is physical chemistry too. When I see him or feel his touch it relaxes me, body and mind. Often times I feel so broken I could cry but his touch heels me in a very real way and I know that nobody else on Earth could complete me the way he does. Not to say that without him I’m incomplete, I know that I’m a well rounded and fully capable individual, but with him I can see my way without the uncertainty. It’s hard sometimes, thinking of others always is, but knowing that he loves and fights for me makes it worth it.
According to Stephen Labbossier’s advice column there are five questions people should ask themselves before walking down the isle. I’ve been reading lots of advice columnso lately just in anticipation for our marriage and they always leave me feeling confident in my choice.
The first is, “Do I understand what is required of me?” This is a hard question, mostly I think because no one can truly understand before they have to. It’seems different for everyone. In my opinion this is why it is important for couples to date a while, or even co habitat, before getting married. Make sure the other person’s snoring won’t keep you up all night or make sure that their lifestyle habits won’t drive you crazy. Not everyone does this though and sometimes it’s just fine, equally important is that you are prepared to sacrifice your immediate happiness for theirs. Not always but often. You can’t expect to live tension free when you always strive to get your way. Say Friday is date night, you know your s/o has had a rough week at work so you make sure to order some take-out from his favorite restaurant even though you don’t care for it. Just little things, no one expects you to move mountains but be willing to compromise. Meet halfway. If you really love someone, small compromises will always be worth it because your partner’s happiness contributes to your own.
The second is, “Am I willing to give them what they need?” This is similar to the last question. Think about when you’ve had a bad day now, will you still be able to love and support them? Your day has been full of meetings and customer service, all you want to do when you get home is sleep but once you get home you find that your s/o is a slave to the porcelain throne. Would you be willing to help them into bed? To make them soup? Rub their aching feet? This is probably how you would want to be treated so you must remember to spoil them the same way, it’s a two way street after all.
Third, “Do we share the same values?” This one doesn’t seem like it should be nearly as important. Two people don’t need to agree on every little thing to get along. After all it is as they say, opposites do attract. Personally I have found that while the smaller details do not tend to matter the bigger life details do. It is hard to be in a serious relationship with a deeply religious person if you are not or if you value family it could be crucial that your s/o does too. Just iron these details out before it becomes a problem. You don’t have to agree on everything but you should at least respect and understand their point of view. This will make conversations and even arguments run smoother.
Fourth, “Are there any unresolved issue?” Look at your life together seriously and don’t ignore anything, however small, simply because you want to move forward. Small things come back to haunt you. They invited people over without letting you know, tell them why that bothers you. You text them a long thought out message and they respond with “k”, tell them why that bothers you. They cut you off when you were trying to talk to a friend, tell them why that bothered you. In order for a relationship to go the distance communication is key. Yes, you need to communicate your love but you also need a respectful way to communicate your grief. When two people are open with each other then issues have no room to stay unresolved.
Last but not least, “Do I really love this person?” Again, this is not a simple question but if you calm your mind and listen to your heart you will know. It is true that everyone has doubts sometimes but in my experience true love doesn’t leave much room for doubt. Not serious doubt. Doubt happens, sometimes all you can do is ask yourself why but when you really truly care for somebody it isn’t so bad as long as you can struggle together. Love is to be fully aware of any imperfections and to not be scared away.
There are questions you can ask, books and articles you can read, councilors you can go to but when all is said and done love is something that you feel. It isn’t calculated or logical. It can be love at first sight or it can be a love that takes work but when love hits you it’s something that you cannot miss.