What does it mean to love one partner all my days? Is it possible?
The fairy tales would call it your one true love. It’s an age-old quest for most: the man wanting to be the hero and provider. Disney movies always end with they lived happily ever after. Now that type of romantic movie is hard to live up to, for sure!
What about when one of you is sick, or gets busy and forgets a dinner date, or, later, when the kids come? Is it possible to still be in love when your needs get pushed to the side? Not because your partner does not want to fulfill them, but because they are too exhausted from chasing the two-year-old around and listening to the five-year-old talk about a cartoon character.
So what does it mean to love one partner all my days? Is it just intimate encounters and date nights? Watching movies and walks in the park? That’s what the movies try to portray, however, that is not true love. Love gives because you care deeply for someone else and you put them first. Love is rubbing your spouse’s back and taking care of the little one for them to get rest. Love is listening to them every day even if you know they are going to talk about the same things again. Love does not take but seeks to give.
I guess I don’t think like most people. Many people I know have jumped from relationship to relationship trying to figure out what they wanted out of life. I, on the other hand, decided at a young age that I wanted to find one partner.
To love one partner all my days would be enough for me. Would it cost me? Yes. Would it be easy? Not a chance, but it would be totally worth it. I would spend my life loving one partner. Perhaps it was my upbringing or that I am an old soul. I envisioned myself as a knight on a quest to find my lady love. I dated in groups or just went out as friends with girls I knew. Nothing ever serious; I was young and enjoying life.
I remember meeting my spouse for the first time. One of her friends had brought her to our youth group. She laughs at this now, the way we interacted when we first met when I was trying to be funny. I got down on my knees and asked her never to marry me, “unless God told her to.” Of course, she gave me a weird look and said, “no problem.”
Over the next year or two, we became friends and would hang out in groups after church. All the time I was searching for this partner I would fall in love with. I thought for some reason I would just know and it would all work out like in the movies. It’s funny now that I thought that way. Fast forward two years and we were best friends hanging out in groups, being crazy teens.
She had been dating a friend of mine, which I set up (I don’t know what was I thinking), but at that time we were friends. He was in the air force and stationed far away. It didn’t work out so they broke up. Since we were good friends, she asked me to hang out because she was done with dating and just wanted to have some fun.
Looking back now, I could see the change happening, just not at that time. It was like my world started to change. I didn’t want to date anyone either, so it worked for us to go out with friends. We would go to movies, hang out, and play pool. It was just comfortable with her because I did not have to put on an act. She knew me and I knew her.
On a youth group trip to Acquire The Fire, we decided it would be fun to pretend we were a couple. But when we got back, the joke was on us. We were sitting in the backseat of my friend’s car that Sunday and she asked me, “Is this real?” At first, being a dense guy, I was like, “what do you mean?” Not my best moment but, she grabbed my hand and was said, “us.”
Now I would have loved to tell you the skies parted and I knew 100 percent that was it. I think I said, “I don’t know.” Honesty, I was afraid that if we did start going out and it didn’t work I would lose her. I could not imagine life without her. So we decided to see where it took us.
That summer we both were going on mission trips. I was going to lead a group of teens to Bolivia and she was going to Peru. The trips were about a month long each, and I remember getting on the plane excited but missing her already. It was on that trip that I knew I would love one partner all my days. I had a blast and did a lot of things but something in my heart was missing. When we got back we were like glue.
A year later, we were married and the adventure began. It was not like I thought it was going to be. Like all couples, we fight, laugh, and love. We have been married now for 19 years and have known each other for 23 years. It’s not been easy, but I am one for a challenge. You see, love gives at the expense of self while lust takes at the expense of others.
It is possible to love one partner all your days if you chose to put them first. Now I am not saying you should be a doormat or a pushover. There have been times where I would not budge on something and my spouse, because she loves me, has given in. Married life is about give and take. There will be romantic times, but there will also be hard times. The thing is, if you are able to do it with your best friend, you will be able to make it.
Love is a choice, not a feeling. Its something you have to do each day. You must choose to love, to put her first. That, my friend, is how you love one partner all your days.
Previously published on Lifeisseasons.wordpress.com.