When the newness wears off in a relationship, here’s what that looks like.
I sat on the couch in utter bliss as I scarfed down tacos, my absolute favorite food. They had just enough cayenne pepper to give them a kick, but not so much that my face melted off. They were just right, and after a long day at work, it was the perfect comfort food for me. When I walked in the door from work less than half an hour before, the enticing aroma had carried me to the sofa in anticipation, and I kissed the cook in appreciation. As I started on the second taco I smiled happily, and that was when I noticed my husband hadn’t yet fixed a plate of the food he had made. Where was he, anyway?
Around the corner, he suddenly appeared, and in his hands he held my prized, fuzzy blanket. I wasn’t just what you would call cold-natured. I was probably more aptly described as arctic-natured, and after years together my husband knew this fact well. He understood that if we went to the movies I would need to wear long pants and bring a coat. He had accepted the fact that the thermostat couldn’t sit below 73 even in August, and he anticipated the likelihood that I would want something to cover my legs while I sat on the couch. So before I had even thought of grabbing one myself, he had brought me my thickest cover.
He knew me.
That’s the thought that entered my mind at that moment, and I beamed on the inside and out before exclaiming, “thank you, dear!”
I knew of a lot of marriages that had ended in a large part because one or both partners are longing for that newness. They desired intrigue and the excitement they had experienced before when a romance first began. After all, there’s something wonderful about first dates, initial kisses, eager touches, and the anticipation of unknown emotions. There are so many people who will trade the “boring” regularity and routine of a long-term relationship because they miss the newness of a budding romance. Boy, are they missing out!
He knows me.
For me, there’s something wonderful about knowing what my spouse will say before he even opens his mouth. I love the fact that he understands what will hurt my feelings before it even does. So he doesn’t do those things! I adore that he knows I’ll be cold, that he knows my favorite dinner, and that he knows how an unexpected and loving text message can immediately brighten my day.
I get wanting the tingles, but the fact is you can still have butterflies even after 20 years. You can. My spouse still turns me on, yet we’re familiar enough that he also knows what turns me off. There’s something sexy about being comfortable together. I can come as I am, be honest about who I am, and not worry he won’t love me anymore if he finds out. He knows my secrets, yet we still have new things to talk about each and every day. There’s no drama, and he knows me well enough to know I hate that sort of thing. We don’t play games, unless you’re talking about the flirty kind that keeps a monogamous relationship alive.
He knows me.
I don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing, and if I do, by chance, we have that deep, unconditional love that forgives easily, understands much, and builds itself upon years of missteps, mistakes, and lessons learned in making one another happy.
I won’t lie. First kisses are phenomenal, that newness is magical and I still remember ours, but there’s also something special and divine about falling into the familiar arms of the one you’ve built a life with. It’s like years of embraces have carved out a special place in their chest where your head fits just right, and when you lay your ear there the familiar lub-dub of their heartbeat is like they’re playing your song. Is there any better sleep than on the chest of your longtime love? After all, it’s ok if you slobber. In fact, it’s expected.
He knows me.
I think perhaps adulterous partners looking elsewhere for love have it all wrong. Love isn’t found in something newer and better. It’s found in the comfortable places that fit like your most luxurious pajamas. It’s not comfortable because of fear of change, no. It’s comfortable because to know someone over a span of years is the best kind of love. It’s an honest love, a sustaining affection, an unconditional romance story told by two lives who intertwine so deeply and completely that no thing could break the cord they have consummated not just once, but untold times over the years.
Love doesn’t come easy. The first couple of years are just the beginning of getting to know one another. They’re the prelude to magic, a majestic show that can titillate your senses. The real excitement comes with receiving love from someone even when they’ve seen you at your worst. It’s still being found sexy after 40, three pregnancies, and six years of breastfeeding. It’s still being adored even through hormonal changes that make you insufferable and slightly crazy. It’s still being attracted to someone after the newness fades, and discovering you find them even more attractive than the first time you met. It’s watching your husband love your children and [think] they’ve never looked so handsome. It’s growing up together, growing old together, and growing as individuals while together.
He knows me.
While it’s special and exciting getting to know someone new, I’ve come to discover the best part of a relationship is when they know you. Like, really know you. Know every single part of you. That’s when you truly discover love.