Love is one of my very favorite things. Honestly, I can’t get enough: I love love, and I would suggest that everyone should give it a chance, whether it comes in the form of self appreciation, romantic feelings, or platonic connections, which can include familial, pet, or friendship relationships.
My cup overfloweth. I have an amazing family, a handful of forever friends, and a husband that I adore. I’m lucky, and I know it.
Today, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, I’d like to give credit to my favorite institution. Marriage has been an incredible journey that has been comforting, transformative, fun, and sacred. Though V-Day doesn’t carry all that much weight in my home (we rarely exchange gifts or go out), it is a refreshing reminder to be vocal of our love for each other.
Since starting my blog, I’ve tried to be open about my marriage and some of its defining traits—always trying to dig deeper into what it means to be a partner connected by vows and law. I think that the line between dating and marriage, while it can be thin, is defined by a strengthened sense of urgency: when you tie the knot, your spouse elevates to a position above anything else.
While the following list can easily translate to a non married partner or friend, I’d like to appreciate the perks that I’ve discovered over the past several years since saying I do.
He’s my very best friend
At the beginning of our relationship, I remember making a definitive line: “you are my boyfriend, not my best friend.” There had to be a boundary, so that we wouldn’t lose ourselves in each other, abandon our other relationships, or forgo our individual identities.
Maybe that was good for us as teenagers. It really did give us some perspective about being young and in love and wanting to have lives outside each other. We weren’t completely dependent on each other, and I think that made things like long distance or going to different colleges easier. For foundational purposes, I guess it worked.
However, I can say with complete certainty that Chad is my very best friend in the world, and has been for as long as I’ve allowed it. I realized this a long time before marriage, and I’m so glad that we broke down that wall and threw the whole concept away.
No one else in the world makes me feel as wonderful as Chad. He makes me laugh. He’s the first person I want to talk to when I wake up, after I receive important news, before I close my eyes at night. He’s my go-to for both deep thoughts and content silence. I want to chase adventures and experiences with him. He’s my person, and I cannot imagine being in a marriage without this intense connection.
Also, who says you can’t have more than one? A platonic bestie is valuable in so many other ways, and I’m lucky to have both kinds.
It’s so nice to be known. For real.
You know how good it feels when someone remembers your coffee or McDonald’s order? It’s almost euphoric that someone noticed your preferences and then remembered them for later.
That same feeling is spread throughout marriage. Chad knows what I’m thinking, how I’m feeling, my reactions, the complexities of my personality—often without hesitation or needing any kind of explanation.
Whether he automatically rattles off my vanilla latte with an extra pump of vanilla order or he intuitively knows when something hits me hard, I feel so blessed to have this connection. It’s only strengthened over time—there’s such a feeling of stability after loving each other this way for over eight years.
Someone is always in your corner.
There’s nothing quite like knowing that someone, no matter what, will always have your back. Chad and I have been known to tease and give each other a hard time, but at the end of the day we will always have each other.
I’ve been many versions of wrong and right, and I’ll always appreciate having someone who loves me regardless.
New experiences are even better.
Creating new memories is so much fun. There’s that initial buzz, like on the honeymoon, when you’re giggly and realizing that it’s your first trip together as a married couple.
This positive feeling continues, though it manifests in different ways. Sometimes it’s a big moment, like buying your first car together, other times it’s as subtle as realizing how natural it is to introduce your partner as your spouse to new people. There are also hardships—suffering through loss, broken friendships, or stressful travel mishaps—that afterwards, you’re so glad to have gone through them together as a unified team.
Whether we’re trying out a new brewery, seeing an anticipated film, or going skiing for the first time together, there is something incredibly worthwhile about doing things with your person by your side.
You keep falling in love.
I’ve seen a lot of good observations about the phenomenon of changing with your partner. Realistically, no one should be staying the same: the person you fall in love with is likely going to evolve over and over again.
This is a wonderful thing. From my perspective, you get to keep falling in love.
There have been so many versions of Chad. There was the high school boy who twirled me after a baseball game, who showed up at my locker between classes, who was nervous about asking me to prom. There was the college boy who was always studying, who drank with me on the weekends, who rode the lightrail to my dorm. There was the roommate Chad, the fiance Chad, the new engineer Chad, the husband Chad, the sassy son-in-law Chad, and so many more.
And honestly? I’ve loved each and every version. And I continue to.
Just like me, Chad has changed with the times. His views, looks, habits, emotions, and experiences have continued to evolve over time. We talk about things we never used to, we connect in different ways, and our lives just aren’t the same. We’re different people than before, and we’re choosing to keep, honor, and include each other as we continue paving the way forward.
Happy Valentines Day to all the lovers out there, who feel, express, and embrace love. And to Chad, I love you always.