I am astonished at the perception many associate with meeting the right one. In my mind there exists no true pattern. How we find love is unique and oft times very simple. As an avid reader of romance novels, I am surprised by the blueprint for finding love. First there must be tension or a conflict to overcome. When the climax arrives love is truly acknowledged, they get married and live happily ever after. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those writers. I’ve fallen into the trap of deciding what dramatic event will bring my two love interests together. And as a reader the draw to reading such novels is to be thrilled and swept away.
The reality is so strikingly different. Love comes in a variety of packages. There is the simplest form when boy meets girl—the high school sweethearts. The college romance where you spot each other across the library or bump into each other at a party. At times it’s the forbidden work romance, or in my case—love online. I love the stories from our grandparents who met at a community dance. We mustn’t forget the blind dates, where rationale was tossed out the door when we agreed, yet fortunately this time someone matched you right. And I admire those whose marriages were arranged and loved each other through dedication.
Whether these are your stories or something similar, I doubt we look back and think—“Thank goodness I survived that catastrophe…oh, and found my love.” Finding your mate isn’t easy, but it rarely involves a dangerous episode or devastating situation.
When all is said and done, I appreciate reality. That lack of flair and excitement was actually there with butterflies in your stomach and the ever questioning “Is this real?” Your bravery was taking that leap of faith to press on, and even more, being strong and wise enough to keep love afloat. You survived doubt and daily conflict to earn your lovers heart.
So I offer a toast to love today, Valentine’s Day. Remember that your love story holds just as much merit as the ones told in books. You tasted that first nectar of love and are proof that your spouse is still your favorite flavor. I applaud romance for the strength it gives us—to stride in life with support by your side and someone to cuddle with during the normal everyday aspects of life.