Are any of you “Jane the Virgin” fans? I remember I was getting my hair done years ago, and the little space my hair girl rented had a tv in it, and she turned that show on the whole time I was getting my hair done. I had never heard of it, but by the end of my five hour hair appointment (I have a lot of hair) I was hooked. I watched as much as I could on Netflix until I was caught up to tv and then I had to do what we all hate doing…wait week to week for the next episode! It’s the worst right? It’s totally worth it though because each week it just keeps getting better. Anyways, if you know anything about the show, I’m hesitant to say this because I know not everyone agrees, but I’m totally team Jane and Rafael. They are my favorite. Always have been. And as of today, always will be:) But watching their tv relationship gives you all kinds of feels. Like they are so cute, so romantic, so in love, and ah, it’s just so good. Like the kind of good that starts to make you look at your relationship and wonder why your husband isn’t as romantic. Or why he doesn’t seem as in love with you as Rafeal does with Jane, or why it doesn’t seem like you both just stare at each other in complete adoration all the time. Maybe I’m the only one that has fallen into the trap of comparison when it comes to relationships. Or maybe I’m not. Either way, it’s happened to me many times, more times than I can count, and let me just remind you as I remind myself, there are no perfect relationships out there. None.
So instead of comparing our relationships and wondering why so and so has what seems to be better than ours, what if we committed ourselves to bettering what we have, not what we wish we had.
I remember before I got married always asking married people for advice. I was so intrigued by the thought of being with one person for the rest of your life. It seemed both crazy and wonderful all at the same time. I’ll never forget what one person told me years and years ago. I had asked her if she is still crazy in love with her husband after 20 years of marriage. I was obviously expecting her to say something like….”Yes” or “Oh my gosh I’m even more in love than I was when we first got married,” but that was not what she said. You want to know what she said? Her response was “I’m committed.” I feel like my jaw dropped in that moment because I immediately resorted to wow, she isn’t in love anymore, she is just stuck because of her commitment to stay with her husband forever. Thats awful. I don’t want that. I want the in love, mushy, romantic, finish each others sentences, want to spend every waking moment with each other kind of love. You know, the love story in the movies or tv shows. That’s the kind of love I want.
That’s the kind of love we all long for though right? The perfect fairytale kind of love. I don’t want to say that doesn’t exist, because I don’t totally believe that to be true. I just think the way love is portrayed to us through movies and tv doesn’t exist. Love isn’t without a fight. It isn’t without struggle. It isn’t perfect. It’s messy. Its hard. But it’s absolutely worth it if you are willing to stay committed.
After almost 11 years of marriage, I understand what my friend meant by her response. It wasn’t that her and her husband don’t love each other or that they aren’t in love anymore. I think what she meant is that they are committed to their marriage when they feel in love and when they don’t feel in love. They are committed when it seems easy and when it gets really hard. They are committed through thick and thin, highs and lows, and everything in between. And that to me, that’s real love. Real love isn’t just what you feel when you have butterflies or when you wake up to a love note and flowers just because. Real love is what fights to get through the hard times because you refuse to give up. Real love says I will do whatever it takes because I’m committed to you for the rest of our lives. Real love loves when it’s easy AND when it’s hard.
Real love isn’t only a feeling. It’s a commitment to love even when you don’t feel it.
Throughout my own marriage there have been so many seasons where love feels easy and so many where love feels hard. I’m glad I had a friend that told me that before I got married, but I wish I would have understood what it meant. Maybe it would have helped me navigate the earlier years of my marriage better if I wouldn’t have set such unrealistic expectations of what a healthy marriage looks like based on what I watched on tv.
What I’ve learned is that loving each other looks different in each relationship because love translates to each of us differently. So my encouragement to you today is to do your best to not compare your relationship with other relationships. Comparison doesn’t do you any favors. Trust me, I’ve done it enough times to know:) Stay committed to YOUR relationship. Marriage really is a beautiful thing, truly. I remember thinking how wild it was to be with one person for the rest of your life before I got married. Now, after nearly 11 years, I still think its wild to be with the same person for the rest of your life. Wildly fun, wildly adventurous…I guess I’ve just learned over the years that life is what you make it. And the same goes for your relationships. My husband and I have made a commitment to one another to do whatever it takes to make our relationship great. Its not without fault. Its far from perfect. But we are in this for life, so instead of letting life just get by and having a mediocre marriage, why not fight to make it the best, most exhilarating, most meaningful relationship you have right?
Okay, I could write for days on this, but I’m going to end here for tonight:) We will talk more on relationships next soulmate sunday! Have a great week!