Here, in honor of Valentine’s Day, is a guest blog from a long-time friend of mine. The author is a mother of three, a wife of over 30 years (to the same husband yet), and a busy executive in New York City who prefers, at least here, to remain anonymous.
My Dear Dear Children ,
We were in college. I was a sophomore, he was a junior. It was a volatile time in my life and I was in turmoil. It was a calm time in his. I had a friend in a special degree program who was working on a special project about which she wanted my opinion. She was working on her project with a guy I had never met or heard of and he would be there.
He walked in and I was immediately smitten. I was head over heels in love at first sight. I could think of little else but him. I had to be in a relationship with him. It felt different from anything I’d had with any former boyfriend (and I’d had a good few before).
Of course, he hadn’t the slightest interest in me.
I chased after him as subtly as I could manage in the state I was in. I’m sure it was anything but subtle to him, but I was determined. I found out what classes he was in and hung out when he’d be coming and going to them. I got his phone number and called his house when I knew he had to be home. I’d ask him for help with my classes. I made all sorts of excuses to get near to him.
He was lovesick for someone else who wasn’t interested in him. I made myself so nice and so there all the time that he couldn’t avoid me. We went out on a first date and I accidentally let it slip. Yes, I said those three little words on the first date. “I love you,” I said.
Amazingly, it didn’t scare him off.
Thirty-plus years is a long time to be married. It doesn’t feel now like it felt then. It’s no longer an infatuation. It isn’t exciting every minute like it was then. Today, our love is a completely different experience. We’ve been each others’ partner, each others’ family, for a long time. We’ve built a bond that can stretch pretty far without breaking. It’s a richer kind of love.
It probably doesn’t look like something you want to emulate but look around. There aren’t many marriages today that last nearly as long. It’s an accomplishment to have such a relationship. It’s worthy of the work it takes to keep it going.
On Valentine’s Day, we think about love, and in particular, romantic love. It’s a good time to remind you that it was an expression of love – ours, for each other — that brought all of you into this world.
Love from your friend,