Once dating has run its course, and you are ready to give 100 percent to the next phase of love, you plan your wedding, stroll down the aisle, and then immediately enter the first stage of married love, The Honeymoon Stage.
The signs of real love bloom over time. It’s when the honeymoon phase is over, and you have dealt with challenges, which helps your love mature.
My husband, David, and I dated nine years before our love matured, or we matured because we were only 12 years old when we became a couple! Until we turned 16, our dates consisted of roller skating in the barn, or riding our horses through the clover field.
Then there is Enduring Love. This is the ultimate sign of a long and healthy relationship. It’s the type of love you see between couples who’ve been together for years, or maybe even decades, marrying your high school sweetheart! A comfortable love that lasts forever.
You usually spend your honeymoon stage discussing what your home will look like, the family you’ll have and the life you’ll live together. Since we had about nine years to kill, we had that all worked out by the time we got married.
True love exists and when you have found your person, you’ll know it. Maybe you’re too young at first and it will come with time, but one day it will become very apparent to you. David and I met at a young age and I referred to him as a “dead duck” the first day of 6th grade!
What is true love in a relationship? It’s the realization that you love your partner beyond attraction and beyond the good times. It is when you have surpassed misunderstandings and menopause and still choose to be with this person.
I believe my husband and I are in the true love category. We’ve been a couple for 50 years. We have trust, communication, confidence, faith and loyalty in our marriage. Our disagreements are short, because we know each other’s buttons to push, so, when necessary, we push them – and move on. We have most of the same hobbies, but we also give each other space to do our own thing.
We have two children and four grandsons. Our children have become wonderful parents and I hope that somehow, we had a little something to do with that. We tried to live by example. We were, and still are, a very close family even though my daughter and her family live in Chicago. We raised really good people and I am so proud of them.
You and your partner work together, hand-in-hand, through life’s challenges. Never let go.
On an important note – No matter how true your love is, and how strong you are as a couple – your dog will always get the best place in your bed.