In my mind, real love was so romantic. It showed up with a dozen long-stemmed roses. It was butterflies when he smiled and hand-written love letters. It was starry-eyed looks from across the room.
As you might guess, I had some pretty high expectations for my poor future husband. Especially on Valentine’s Day.
But twenty years (and three kids) later, I have a much better understanding of what real love is. Here's a few examples, just off the top of my head:
- Real love blocks off time on his schedule to take his wife out to lunch every week.
- Real love cleans up the mess when a sick child didn't make it to the bathroom.
- Real love comes home from a business trip a day early … just because he can.
- Real love listens patiently to story ideas, blog posts and rough drafts.
- Real love helps our kids with Algebra homework because he knows how much his wife hates math.
- Real love turns the channel during Victoria’s Secret commercials.
- Real love spends his bonus check on a desk for his wife, instead of something on his own wish list.
This Valentine’s Day I’m not expecting roses. They're too over-priced right now anyway. I am also pretty confident I won’t get a sappy love letter describing how “I complete him,” or how he loves me from the depths of his soul.
But that’s okay. Real love is alive and well in my marriage.
This year for Valentine’s Day we’ll probably go out for dinner. Then he’ll simply say, “I love you.”
And you know what?
I’ll believe him.