"I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives." -The Holiday
That line right there is probably one of the major reasons why The Holiday is my favorite movie. It is so true for me. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart and I'm constantly aware of how love (or the lack of it) shapes people and the world around them. Love can be perceived but not truly felt. It can be withheld. Love can be lost, and not always by both parties at once.
I've been in love for more than 2 years, and I in no way consider myself an expert on the subject. However, I do feel like I've learned a lot about love in the past 12 months. Have you heard about the five love languages? They're the five main ways that we show and like to receive love: words of affirmation, touch, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. I've heard about these all my life pretty much thought everyone should know about them and focus on them. When JP and I first got married, we decided to take the quiz, thinking that it would help us to know more about each other.
It was fun to do and the results were interesting, but not long after that day I realized something. The way that I want to be loved most varies day to day. The result I got that first day was not the same result I would have gotten a week later. It became pretty clear to me that even though these love languages are interesting to learn about and to be aware of, they are not the be-all and end-all of loving relationships. The key is balance. Don't discover your spouse loves acts of service, then proceed to lose focus on encouraging them or spending quality time with them. By the same token, don't be upset when your spouse doesn't show you love using only the option you scored most on - you have to look at what else they're doing to show their love to you instead of focusing on the one way you've decided to expect.
This is all leading up to today's special occasion. It's mine and JP's one year anniversary. Yep. We've been married a whole year. It truly is a milestone. The year has been a rough one outside of our marriage - a year ago, I would not have been able to imagine just how much I would come to rely on JP's quiet love and support. I know I've had my extremely crazy moments of freaking out, but he always has a way of calming me down, whether he's lending balance to my frame of mind or validating my freak out moment with other words of wisdom. This year has truly made JP my family and I can't imagine my life without him.
So in light of these things I've learned about love in general, here are some ways JP has shown me love this past year. They're little things, but little things that spoke to me and made me feel loved.
- He's willing to walk home barefoot for me. One night we were getting home late after a night of dancing and I had been wearing heels that were killing my feet. It was too late to catch a bus from the subway, so we decided to walk it, but I was really having a hard time. JP offered to walk home barefoot so that I could wear his shoes. (Side note: He's offered many times since too, but it's never been bad enough for me to have to do that again.)
- He gives me the pickles from his Chickfila sandwich. He hates pickles (weird, right?) and I love them. He used to get the sandwiches without pickles, but now he gets them so I can have them. Yeah, I know that I could get pickles on the side, but it's not the same. I love that he just started doing it without saying anything.
- He does random, silly internet things for me while I'm at work. When I found out I could get into Pottermore early, I was at work. I asked JP if he would go on to see if he could do it for me, and before I knew it I had a Pottermore screen name. Back when I played a lot of Facebook games, he would harvest stuff and gather coins for me while I was at work. (I'm aware this makes me sound obsessive...the point is he's willing to put up with it and help me out.)
- He understands that Colby and I are crazy together. He refers to her as my wife and understands that our relationship is a little...codependent. He puts up with the fact that sometimes we're going to obsess over little things and sometimes I'm going to annoy him by chattering about stuff he doesn't care about. But he respects us and what we have. Or maybe he just puts up with it. :-)
- In the same vein, he's willing to help me with videos. The first time I wanted to film some segments for one of Colby's videos, he rolled his eyes at me and laughed. But when we actually did it, he was into it and throwing out suggestions. We had fun shooting the segments together. Another time, he didn't even understand what I told him I was doing. He just set up the camera and shot it for me.
- He shops with me in the rain. There was one particular day that was going to give us plenty of time to shop for Christmas gift and it ended up raining all day. But he was a trooper, going everywhere I needed to and offering to carry bags.
- Those random moments when he says, "I'm so glad we're married." I know we're still newlyweds and this may not last forever. But I love it when we're doing something random like watching TV or cooking dinner and then he turns to me with this certain look on his face and says, "I'm so glad we're married," or "I'm so happy you're my wife." My heart jumps every time.
Here's to many more years with the man I love.