Why The Real Test Isn’t Falling In Love, It’s Staying In Love

I can’t scroll through my Twitter or Instagram feeds without seeing some sort of “relationship goals” or a post about how easy and great life will be as soon as they find that one “person”. I’m here to tell you that love isn’t a fix-all. Once you fall in love, your life doesn’t get easier.

Love is easy. Loving, that’s what’s hard.

Falling in love isn’t a choice. It happens in a rush and you have no control of the world around you as you fall into the most miraculous thing. Falling in love is easy. The late night phone calls giggling and whispering. The shy coffee dates, laughing across the Starbucks table with the sun hitting your face. The hand holding as you walk to class, your palm getting sweaty. That’s the easy part.

But what comes after is hard.

The initial twitterpation of our relationship goes away. All of their flaws that you thought were cute, or that you simply overlooked, start to matter as you notice them. You realize that they’re not so insignificant. You realize that you’re much more insecure than you thought, or that they are. You realize that their morning breath IS kind of gross.

When you’re already in deep, they come to you on a hard night, with a tear-stained face, and you’re not sure what to do. They uncover their emotional scars and the skeletons in their closet, and you have a split-second to decide if you’re okay with them or not. You’re suddenly so emotionally invested that there’s no clean break, no easy out.

I’m not saying that loving isn’t wonderful. I’m just saying that it’s hard. Loving means that you support them in all their endeavors, even when it takes up their precious time. Loving means sacrificing your day off to run errands or take their car to get the oil changed because they don’t have the time. Loving means crying with them when their cat dies, and holding them against your chest until they’ve cried themselves to sleep.

Loving means putting on your brave face when you have to see their parents, even though their father hates you and you know it. Loving means taking a leap of faith with them, every single day. Loving means putting differences aside, or hashing them out at midnight until you both feel peace.

Being in love is an amazing feeling. It’s an easy feeling. Those butterflies feel like magic. But the real magic, is keeping those butterflies around. It is so much effort, actively loving someone, that it’s not possible for us all to love everyone with our entire soul.
I’ve been in love so many times. We all have. But I’ve only loved one person.

Featured image via Cairo Dwek.

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