When you're young and naive and watching movies about the Princess finding her Prince and then there are some true love and a happily ever after you kind of get this concept ingrained in your brain that you marry a lover. You marry someone who sweeps you off your feet and when they kiss you there's fireworks and butterflies. Maybe there's some cynicism involved with growing up that alters the perspective for some of, or maybe it's just understanding the complexities of relationships are so much more than who you kiss first, but the truth is that when you're looking for that person you are going to spend the rest of your life with, there are more important things to look for than a knight in shining armor.
Even then, when you get a little cynical and realistic as you age there still lingers misconceptions about love and relationships and maybe that's why so many are struggling to celebrate lasting anniversaries. Some people like to blame the way society seems to expect instant gratification today but I think a lot of it really, truly has so much to do with misconceptions about what love really means.
When you think about what love is to you, there's so many things you could be thinking of but there are some that people just get wrong time and time again.
Love isn't perfect. The stars don't align and things DO go wrong.
Love isn't consistent. It changes over time. It grows, because you are a person and you change and you grow and so will your partner.
Love isn't a fairy tale.
It's time to think outside the box, it's time to look for something more. It's time to take on a challenge and work with someone, not against them. It's time for you to look for your best friend. Sometimes they'll be your lover, sometimes they wont, but if you have a strong foundation then you'll have your soulmate.
What's the difference? I'll tell you.
Your best friend is someone that knows you inside and out. They don't just know your favorite movie, they know why it's your favorite movie. When you're having a bad day, when you're low and down and out, they know just what to say to lift you up, what snack to bring you for that little smirk that starts to turn things around. They know what NOT to say and what little things will turn everything around.
They support your dreams. They uplift your spirit. They challenge you in ways you'd never challenge yourself alone. In so many ways, they simply know you better than you know yourself. You don't need to wallow in self doubt and misery, they'll always be by your side encouraging you to do the things they know you can do.
They want the best for you and they see the best in you and they push you to bring the best out of you. They see your gifts and talents from an outside perspective so when you're sitting there feeling worthless they can show you how wrong you are about that.
They'll call you out when you're wrong without humiliating you and they do it because the love they have for you means they only want you to succeed. They don't want to see you stumble and fall and they'll never let you struggle alone.
See, when you're only thinking about a lover you're looking for connections on the surface. Sure, you want to be able to enjoy some entertainment together but you're focused on hormones and someone you can enjoy physically. True love, lasting love, needs to be so much more.
When you love your best friend you are with someone who will be there when you fall. Someone who will be there when you're not in the mood. Someone who will care for you when you're sick, and not leave you when you gain twenty pounds. When you stop thinking about finding a lover and you start thinking about finding your best friend, you're finding your partner. You're finding someone who has so much more to offer you. You've found someone who is there for life, through ups and downs, when your breasts sag, through fertility struggles, through disease and death... your best friend sees all of you. Your best friend sees the whole package that is you, not just the outside, not just the flowers and candy and sex. They see your intelligence, what is behind your smile, what is behind your tears, and what makes you who you are.
This is who you need, this is who you want. You don't need a lover. You need a best friend.