Monday, March 2, 2015

The Happily Ever After

Every romantic movie follows the same basic story: a couple meeting and falling in love. The pursuit of the relationship is given all the attention and is completely romanticized. However, I argue that it is far from the most important part of the story.

The pursuit.

I was attracted to Polly the first moment I laid my eyes on her. I had butterflies in my stomach every time we talked. I replayed every conversation through my head over and over again. I wanted to be around her as much as I could. I pulled out all the stops, using every ounce of creativity God gave me to romance and woo her. Every time we held hands, my heart skipped a beat.

Our pursuit had all the makings of a romantic movie:
  • Boy meets girl
  • Boy falls for girl
  • Girl falls for boy
  • Boy woos girl
  • Obstacles and drama are overcome
  • Boy and girl end up together
  • More obstacles and drama are overcome
  • Boy marries girl
  • Boy and girl live happily ever after
The happily ever after.

This is where movies leave off, "And they lived happily ever after." This is where Hollywood has it all wrong. The happily ever after is the real story! It appears not to be as romantic. I used to believe that was true. Then I realized that was based on a skewed definition of romance.

Men and women can say nice things and sound sweet but I want to deal with reality for a moment so let's be honest, the butterflies wear off.

I still love waking up next to the love of my life and seeing her beautiful face each morning, but at the same time I have grown accustomed to her being beside me. This doesn't mean that I love her any less. In fact, I love her significantly more. It just means that the credits have rolled on the romantic movie and reality has begun!

Now don't get me wrong, there are still sparks:
  • My heart still skips a beat sometimes
  • I still smile EVERY time she smiles
  • I still get butterflies from time to time
But some things change with time.

A while back a single friend asked Polly and me how to keep that initial feeling of falling in love alive. The easy answer is that while you do work hard to remember that first love and even fall in love all over again, you really don't. The happily ever after is just simply different.

There are new things that I look forward to each day. New little things that Polly does. The romance isn't gone just because the butterflies aren't as's just different.

I love my wife more now than I ever did before. I am in love. It's a matter of accepting the new face of love.

I think many relationships/marriages that fail do so because people get bored and want the adrenaline rush of falling in love again. This is because they have bought into the Hollywood lie and thought that the pursuit is the romantic part of the story. In reality it's not even close.

Crying together, praying together, changing poopy diapers together, experiencing life together (the good and bad), laughing together, snoring together...these are part of the beautiful part of the real story.

In short, romantic movies need more poopy diapers.

A friend of mine always says, "You don't date to marry; you marry to date." The story is not about the chase, it's about the "happily ever after." That's why I love dates with my wife more now than I did back then.