Relationships aren’t about the picture perfect moments where you’re sitting in a park smiling without a care in the world.
Sure, the butterflies in your stomach and the fancy days now and then are fun, but that’s not what it’s about.
Relationships are about those times where you just lose it and need to fall in someone’s arms crying. Relationships are about that bare-faced honesty where you know you can pour out your heart and show your imperfections and be loved anyway. Relationships are about keeping each other grounded and putting things into perspective when you’ve lost all sense of reason.
That’s not to say that you can’t have those perfect swoon-worthy stories of pure bliss. You should be able to talk endlessly about nothing and everything with your person. Time needs to be set aside to just spoil each other and spend time with one another. Sometimes you can – and should – just feel like a giddy schoolgirl (or boy).
But a healthy relationship requires balance. Just as every day can’t be rainbows and butterflies and blue skies, every moment spend with your significant other can’t be all fun and games and romantic gestures. Dating isn’t just an excuse to get out and be social, it’s a process to find and get to know the person who will be there for you through everything, cloudy days and all.
In our culture of social media, we have become startlingly adept at creating this impossibly intricate picture of our life, a mask that we put forward for those around us. Our Instagram accounts show carefully filtered pictures of just how artsy, adventurous, and fashion-forward we can be, while our Facebook timeline broadcasts our impressive resume and admirable good deeds. We forget that that’s not real life.
Real life is imperfect and messy and frustrating. It’s also filled with unexpected joys and crazy acts of love. But real life has a balance. And we tend to block out the suckier part of that balance.
The thing is, it’s in the sucky days when we are not at our best and our mask is off that the true strength of a relationship is tested. Sure, it’s easy to love someone when they’re fun and easy-going on a laid back movie night, but can you love them just as much when they are pushed to their breaking point and snap at whomever is closest? Can they put up with your mood swings when you are over-committed and over-thinking every little detail?
Pictures show fleeting moments. Relationships are far more lasting than that.
We need to stop looking for someone who just knows how to show you a good time and start looking for someone who knows how to carry and support you when you’re vulnerable and imperfect. Those are the relationships that will stand the test of time.