a toast to ordinary love

What does it mean when you’d rather sit on the couch with your partner snuggled up drinking a gf beer and watching Game of Thrones than going out to a late night party?

What does it mean when the best part of your day is your partner coming home and you watch the sunset together from a half built greenhouse in your backyard?

What does it mean when you get cranky because he left a wet towel on the bed/ borrowed your [insert item] again without asking/ ate the rest of the chocolate at the wrong time of the month but then he says something that makes you laugh and you forgive him?

What does it mean when you sit down to play a board game with friends who are recently coupled up and giggling, euphoric with new love and recent love-making and realise that you’re just not in that head space anymore and that you’re okay with it?

Ordinary, everyday, I’m-simply-living-my-life love.

I don’t generally write about relationships on this blog. To tell you the truth, I haven’t felt as though I have much to offer on the topic. There a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, I’m young. No 20-year marriage plus kids here. Secondly, I’ve had a fair amount of emotional crap to wade through that has made me less than the ideal partner.

At times I’ve even swayed back and forth on the issue of whether I should be partnered up at all. In our 20s, is being in a long-term relationship the best thing for our growth? Should we be spending more time as strong single ladies* and men?

Today, I say to hell with that. Being single is rad. But so is being in a relationship where you have plenty of room to grow and learn. To stumble, to eff-up and to say sorry and be forgiven.

So this is my tribute to regular love. A little reactionary piece against rom coms and happily-ever-afters.

Contrary to popular cinema there is actually a relationship space that falls between newly in-love post first major fight and passionate reunion, and elderly couple sitting on a park bench holding hands.

Make no mistake. I adore rom coms. Academy Award bait films are great, but really, after a day spent learning about how screwed up the law/the planet/ society is, I don’t want to sit down to watch 12 Years A Slave. Or Q&A. Or Four Corners. Sorry friends. I would much rather watch a film where Ryan Gosling does his humble-brag thing and woos the pretty lady.

However unlike Noah’s romantic letters to Allie in the Notebook, written communication between my partner and I is often a series of texts about ETAs and the shopping list. Mornings generally begin with an alarm clock and a flurry of showers and lunch making rather than special snuggles. There aren’t showy flower deliveries and fluttering-heart displays of love.

But there are other things. Better things. Like knowing that my handyman makes sure everything runs smoothly from lamps to bicycles to cars. The fact that my toes have been saved by the considerate (and considerable!) application of bubble wrap around the legs of our bed. Our flourishing veggie garden overflowing with herbs and spinach.

Or the laughter. The silliness. And the quiet understanding. The care, compassion and support. We’re a team and we’re best mates.

It’s not always wonderful. Sometimes it’s infuriating. Or painful. The rawness of really knowing someone and having them reflect our flaws can be confronting. But that’s life. Ordinary, everyday life.

Ordinary, everyday love.

*Credit for that line goes to a good friend. I won’t name her here for privacy reasons. x