Recently I attended the 10th year wedding anniversary of a friend. I can’t begin to tell you how excited she was to be able to sit back and say “10 years! We love each other, even like each other and we love our life.” Watching the astonishment on her face and hearing the joy in her voice was heartwarming. As I drove home from this shindig commemorating their beautiful union, I did what I usually do in that peaceful glide from one place to another and started to really process my night and all I witnessed. I smiled at the thought of what had occurred, that one (or many) can take for granted. What happened was the evidence of what it takes to fortify and grow a connection between two adults who are not strung together by blood, but have willingly chosen to reach and hold onto someone who was once a stranger and is now a best friend.
Attraction: Physical attraction is scientific, real and important to at least snatch a partner’s attention. However, lasting connections involve a deeper attraction. Being attracted to someone’s mind, their drive, their purpose, motivation and beliefs in life create a sense of admiration between the two. I believe admiration is the real ticket within attraction. Admiration of your loved one pulls you closer into them, keeps you curious about their journey in the world and has you wanting to find a permanent place with them on this ride. Yes those we admire can sometimes disappoint you, but unlike physical attraction, admiration does not fade, but grows and with that growth covers some of the temporary downturns.
Support: Yes, there are two primary people in any monogamous relationship; however two happier people have the common support of friends and family. These others often act as voices of reason, caretakers when you just can’t or a common connector when for some reason your partner seems out of reach. Good support is not only for YOU but the both of you. Sometimes you can feel like it’s me and my baby against the world right now, but with you, your babe and the family, the world just got a lot scarier and this partnership a lot safer.
Sense of Humor: Listen. Life is hard. However I barely remember it because I spend most of the time having a good belly laugh with my partner. Couples who cannot just be vulnerable enough to cry together, but can let their walls down enough to face hurting (at appropriate times or not) giggle together have a better chance of getting through fights, financial hardships, crazy kids, loss, and disappointment together.
I can tell you the way my friend speaks of her husband and the way he looks at her, they have moved beyond just carnal attraction (though they lack none of that) and truly admire who has grown with them and who will remain by their side. They have support on top of support who does not speak against their life, but encourages its health. And I know they laugh together, as well as pray, eat, raise kids and all that other good stuff…together. What was funny to me is how I never hear her say a word about Valentine’s Day, like she’s been waiting for it to come. I believe that’s because for a truly love, admiration, support and humor saturated pair, everyday is Valentine’s Day.