"We were born in a time, where if something was broke, you fix it ... not throw it away."
Let's be honest--love today seems to be much more different than it used to. Today's rhetoric is filled with "the hook-up culture", and not to mention divorce rates remain consistent. For me personally, there are not many examples of healthy relationships in my life. While most marriages I am surrounded by have resulted in divorce or unhappiness, there is only one example of true love that I have always recognized: my grandparents.
Yes, they did grow up in a much different time than we are now. My grandpa always tells the story about how he fell in love with my grandma. I believe he was about 10 or 11 and he was her paper boy. One day she came to the door to pick up the paper and he said she just had surgery on her eye and that she had an eyepatch on and that he "fell in love with the little girl with the eyepatch."
This story gets me every time.
While I don't think a lot of us can say that we met the love of our lives at that young of an age, there is a lot we can learn from people that have been in love that long. Here are just a couple of things I think us millennials can learn from them when it comes to love.
1. Their relationship wasn't confusing.
Since I am speaking for them, I would like to say they would agree with me. When I talk to my grandpa about relationships today, I know he doesn't get it, I don't think he fully understands how complicated dating is today. Actually, people don't really even go on "dates" anymore. Most people's love lives are revolved around receiving a text and being confused, or not totally clear about someone's intentions. We hide behind typed words, not feelings. Our grandparent's generation was not like this, partially because they didn't even have phones--but that's besides the point. My grandparents taught me that love doesn't have to be confusing. You just have to wait until you find that person that makes it easy.
2. They shared a mutual respect for each other.
Anyone who knows my grandparents know that my grandpa is a very outspoken person, while my grandma was the more quiet one. However, if she was angry it was definitely a different story, she was stronger than anyone I've ever met. Together they were a perfect balance, and I know they knew it. You could tell just by the way he looked at her that she was the most important thing in his life, and also that they shared a mutual respect for each other that lasted a lifetime. If you don't respect yourself, or the person you are with, it will never work out. My grandparents definitely taught me this.
3. Their relationship wasn't perfect.
I think a lot of us have wondered how people can stay together for over 50 years (I definitely have). I realize it isn't the easiest, but watching my grandparents it is clear that it's worth it. As outsiders, we think that people who have been together for so long have the perfect relationship. Well, it doesn't exist. No relationship is perfect. We don't see the bad times or the struggles that older couples have faced. It's inevitable that these times will come up, but it's how we handle them that matters. We can't just throw something away simply because we're unhappy at that moment. My grandparents taught me to cherish the moments you have together, because they won't be forever.
4. They prioritized family.
No matter the sports or school event, my grandparents were always there cheering me on. I have saved every card, letter, and note that they have given me because they are truly my #1 fans. They always made family their first priority no matter what. I know that everyone in my family could say the same that we can always count on them to be there for us, and I don't think they realize how much of an influence their relationship and who they are individually has shaped my life. I aspire to be like them each and every single day.
5. They're still in love after all this time.
Even after my grandma passed away my senior year of High School, I know she's still the love of my grandpa's life. To be able to say that you were in love with someone until death is something truly special. They are my example of true love and I am honored to have witnessed it.