The Phases and Stages of Love
Welcome to the first real topic of the Confessions of a Young Bride series! As promised, this series is meant to be fun, insightful, and not too preachy ;P . What I’ve learned over 15 years of marriage, I want to share! So here we go!
I want to start off with the topic of “love” because I think it’s most important (as do most people), BUT it’s the most misunderstood in any relationship.
Love is an evolving creature. Who said you “can’t change?”
The love you have for each other right now is not the same love you had for each other the first time you said “I love you.” Nor will it be the same love you have for each other at your 5 year anniversary. Again, it will change by your 10 year anniversary. This is not a mistake, this is at it should be!
When James and I were in the dating phases of life, love looked like a bouquet of flowers left on my bed while I was at practice, for no reason at all, sleepless nights where we stayed up all night just to talk, small gestures to show we cared.
If I lived like this now, I would be cranky from lack of sleep and concerned that those flowers were some sort penitence for something deeper…please assure me this is how every woman’s mind works. It could just be me. Either way, our life looks different now.
Here is a simple illustration of how we have evolved:
First year of dating: 1 lb of chocolates from Thomas Sweet in Princeton. To James’ shock and horror, I ate them in a week. I never saw a box of chocolate from him again.
First year of marriage: Random love notes accompanied by flowers left on the dining room table.
Five years of marriage: Valentine’s Day. “Do you know how embarrassing it is to walk around the city with a bouquet of flowers?!”
Ten years of marriage: I have long since forbade him to buy me flowers just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Apparently, it’s embarrassing. If he doesn’t want to buy me flowers, then I don’t want them! I don’t get flowers anymore. And that’s okay.
Side note: I still don’t get chocolates, and that’s NOT okay!
What has happened here is not that James loves me less. I know that. Love has changed. We’re no longer trying to understand what makes the other tick, or show affection with gifts. We understand each other a whole lot more. James is not a very complex creature, and to be fair, neither am I.
We are set in our ways though, with careers we love, and kids to keep us busy. These two things take up a majority of our life. So, remembering to put that all on the back burner and make time for each other is essential.
Because we’re no longer relying on our emotions and feelings to make time anymore. We don’t stay up all night talking. We have jobs to do, beasties to keep alive! So what keeps us going? Not flowers, not even chocolate, but time. I know James makes an effort to spend time with me, and that’s his most valuable resource.
Valentine’s Day is now a staycation at our favorite “stay-close” (as opposed to getaway), the Bernard’s Inn. We both realized that material gifts are not adequate ways to say “I love you.” For us, time is the most valuable gift we can give each other.
Note: There are some people whose love language is gifts! I am not responsible for the rage that ensues if you take these away…KNOW THY PARTNER!
I’ll admit James is much better at this than I am! While we don’t often call in the middle of the day, I get text messages once in a while saying “What’s work like? Are you free tonight for going out?”
And if it’s a Tuesday, then yea, I probably am! (Life of a photographer).
So where does that leave us after 10 years of marriage?
For my 30th birthday, James surprised me with a night out with some of our closest friends. This is NOT something he would normally do. He has a caveman-like mentality: “Woman. Mine.” The fact that he actually invited a group of people to celebrate with us is astonishing!
And I know for his upcoming birthday that he would prefer to celebrate by having no one else around, and going to bed by 8pm like an old man. Doesn’t sound all too exciting does it? Nope. But, our lives are pretty “exciting” in the sense that it’s go go go with our careers and children. As the pace of life slows down, and our kids grow up, our life will change. That’s a promise, something to look forward to, and most importantly an adventure.
Until next time!
The Phases and Stages of Love Welcome to the first real topic of the Confessions of a Young Bride series! As promised, this series is meant to be fun, insightful, and not too preachy ;P . What I’ve learned over 15 years of marriage, I want to share! So here we go! I want to […]