Life Long Love: Lessons from the Pros

I spent the weekend on Hilton Head Island celebrating my grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. I loved seeing extended family that I don’t often see, but what I enjoyed most of all was hearing more about my grandparents' relationship. Every time I listen to a story about when they were dating or from their fifty years of marriage, I can't help but think it sounds like one of the great classic romance novels. I am constantly in awe of the love they share for one another. My own parents had an ugly divorce when I was young and I grew up thinking love was something to be won by manipulating your opponent into a lower position. But my grandparents’ love is something entirely different; it is pure and completely unconditional. It is a love that even in my wildest dreams I couldn't imagine myself being lucky enough to have with a romantic partner. Maybe that's why I prefer romance novels that involve vampires, ha! During the concluding dinner of the weekend long celebration, both my grandmother and grandfather gave a speech about their fifty years of wedding bliss. What stuck with me most was when my grandfather said the success of their relationship was based on believing in one another.

I suppose it would seem an obvious component of a relationship, but it was one I never considered and the light bulb immediately went on. Over the years I have had a couple serious relationships and each crashed and burned with an explosion on impact and a slow burn out. The problem was that I didn’t believe in my significant other (well one of many problems). Even in a relationship that spanned on and off from my sophomore year in high school to the beginning of my senior year in college, I did not believe in the hopes and dreams of the other person, or in his feelings for me. I was always looking for flaws, for failure, for deceit. I was (and am) so afraid of getting lost in love and ending up hurt and alone with nothing of my own, that I set my relationships up for failure. I can’t change the past, but I can most certainly influence the outcome of my current relationship. My partner deserves my belief in his future goals, in his words and actions, and in his feelings for me. He offers his support and belief in me and it is time that I offer the same. When I stop searching for imperfections and deceptions, I see my belief in him was there all along. 

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