When a woman loves a man, she treats him like a man.
When a girl loves a man, she treats him like a king.
When a woman loves a boy, she treats him like a prince.
Which one are you now or hope to be? Are you looking for a prince? Are you looking for a princess? Are you hoping to build some unrealistic picture of a healthy relationship based on how your loved one will spoil you in some particular manner? Is that what you base your hopes upon for a strong and lasting marriage?
Marriage isn’t about the romance, even if romance is a required element. Nor is it about the sex and chemistry, though those, too, are needed. There are many things needed in marriage like friendship, commitment, compatibility and love, and yet … marriage is still not about any of these things.
Marriage, a union of souls, is about a partnership, a sharing of life with someone else. Your selection of that person is based on the quality of a number of powerful criteria that help you endure a life long partnership. Can you love them through difficult times? Can you maintain a passion despite the aging of your bodies and maturation of your souls? Is there hot chemistry in the beginning to get you through the early days of miscommunication and adjustment? Are you friends with deep friendship that transcends mere passion and is more valuable than sensuality that might come and go? A commitment to support each other through good and difficult times? A balance of personalities that creates a better whole than you are individually apart?
A healthy marriage might be full of passion and love and infatuation and friendship and commitment and children and bacon and a great many things that will come and go throughout your lives. Showing that love in special ways helps emphasize your love for each other, and once in awhile that might mean a man does something luxurious for his woman that makes her feel like a princess and a woman to her man that makes him feel the prince, but occasions of lavishness and a lifelong expectation of special treatment are two very different things.
All too often, unrealistic expectations destroy what otherwise could prove a powerful relationship between two like-minded and like-hearted people. We think our loved one should treat us as A or B, when in reality we’re healthiest somewhere down around Q or S.
Taking our expectations to reality is our first step to finding someone worth fighting for, and fighting in general. Fighting with someone is only as tolerable as how valuable that person is to you, in the first place. If you’re so quick to dismiss someone after your first argument as a couple, perhaps they aren’t mean to be as valuable as you thought, or perhaps your concept of value depends entirely on how little you fight?
Relationships are like gardens and must be tended, not merely started and set to run. It takes hard work and dedication. It doesn’t not mean all work is unbearable or merely a chore. Sometimes my greatest joys come amidst my dedication to seeing something through and the work required to make sure my efforts build something positive and life-sustaining.
Marriage is not “just” work, but it requires it! If you meet someone who connects and works with you so smoothly that it barely seems like work, that’s wonderful! I consider that a prime image of how we should seek employment — find something you’re so good at in life that working barely feels like work!
But these concepts of princes and princesses … they’re built on fairy tales. They subsist of other people’s best ideas of what a good relationship entails instead of asking yourself what you need. What do you need as an adult to successfully share your life with another human being until the day you die? Is it spoiling you, or treating you with respect, loving you with commitment, caring for you as you care for them, and sharing the values necessary to build a life for each other with each other in each other?
Open your eyes, open your hearts, bleed out the fantasies and embrace the truth of real love, not the fantastic infatuation of our unrealistic dreams.