Valentine’s Day. A day of chocolate, flowers, and dinner dates. Lovesick cupids and cut-out hearts are everywhere and it seems like everyone has got someone. It all makes love seem like this dreamy state of always having hearts in your eyes and living for every second you have with your significant other. Well let me tell you singles, what you see on Valentine’s Day is not REAL love.
Love is waking up to your spouse who has bad breath and giving them a good morning kiss anyway.
Love is asking for doughnuts and being grateful for the thought when he comes home with sausage, eggs, and cheese instead.
Love is skipping a night out with the girls or guys to stay home and talk.
Love is changing the baby’s dirty diapers 10 times a day.
Love is 100% sacrificial, there is no 50/50 in marriage, it is 100/100.
Love is taking out the trash.
Love is needing a break, but putting your own needs aside to be a shoulder to cry on.
Love is loving your spouse even when their farts smell like rotten eggs.
Love is creating a plan together and keeping each other accountable for it.
Love is doing things you may not be good at, or even want to do, because they are important to your spouse.
Love is spending your afternoon fixing things around the house when you’d much rather veg out.
Love is going to work everyday to pay for a roof over the head of your loved ones.
Love is sharing hurt feelings and apologizing instead of demanding to be right.
Love is not being so manly that you can’t go down the “ladies hygiene” aisle to buy tampons for your wife.
Love is realizing every choice you make will affect your spouse in some way, and making careful decisions.
Love is continuing to respect and honor your spouse even when you are angry.
Love is not complaining about spending loads of time browsing a woodworking shop.
Love is not complaining about spending loads of time browsing for adorable baby clothes.
Love is eating Italian when you’re really in the mood for Mexican.
Love is cleaning up puke because your spouse can’t even stand up without puking.
Love is doing what is best for your spouse, even when you don’t want to.
Real love doesn’t mean you will always be relished like a Knight in Shining Armour or a Princess, or that you should demand such treatment, but it means you continue to treat your spouse that way even when they don’t deserve it. Real love is messy guys. It is hard, it takes sacrifice, it is not as perfect as it seems like it is on Valentine’s Day, and it sometimes (literally) stinks.
Although candy and flowers are definitely okay to give, the rewards of perseverance and persistence are worth far more than any heart shaped box of chocolates and roses once a year.
Love your spouse with REAL love today.
*Real love is not staying in an abusive relationship because “maybe one day they’ll change.” If you are in need of help, please find a counselor or someone you can trust to confide in.