True Love Or Romantic Fantasy... Which One Do You Want?

Reading from a page in my own love story, I was thinking about the early days of my marriage...

When I first met my husband, initially I was intrigued, but not at all swept off my feet. It took some time for him to grow on me, but once he captured my heart, I was smitten and there was no letting go! 

Yet, once we said, "I Do," I was in for a startling revelation of what I'd actually gotten myself into! And boy... Was I surprised!

After the excitement of the wedding day... speaking those solemn vows, the sweet first kiss that sealed our union, taking all the pictures, cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet and spending an amazing, passionate honeymoon as husband and wife... We came home to a house full of wedding gifts and a mountain of boxes that needed to be unpacked, sorted and arranged into the new reality of our conjoined lives. 

We were so excited that we'd be living together on a daily basis, that neither of us stopped to think what that would really be like. But before long, I learned a heavy lesson about what true love is really all about!

In my mind's eye, I imagined night after night of romantic dinners, where we sat and talked for hours, gazing lovingly into one another's eyes. Giggling and sniggling as we rushed to load the dishwasher before slipping into bed for a passionate night of love-making. But that's not quite how things played out!

While we were dating, I knew my dearly beloved liked to watch TV, but I had no inkling of his deep abiding love for westerns, kung fu movies and wrestling! UGGH!!! 

And... I had no idea that he had to watch all of his shows with his plate, in his lap, in front of the TV! (So much for the beautiful candlelit table I'd set!) 

And... I had no idea how controlling he could be when it came to the remote control! 

And... I had no idea how un-romantic a snoring, drooling man can be when he's fallen asleep in front of the TV, with said remote in his hand!!!

And... I had no idea how much he hated to buy cut flowers! Being a landscape gardener who loved playing in dirt for a living, he firmly believed flowers should stay where they're planted to live out their lives peacefully and beautifully!

And... I had no idea how much he hated eating out in fancy restaurants with fine china, sparkling crystal and pristine white table clothes! You see, my beloved was a gentle giant who felt more like a bull in a china store than the suave, smooth gentleman. After all, his favorite love song was "Casanova" by LaVert...  

"I ain't much on Casanova... Me and Romeo ain't never been friends...
Can't you see how much I really love you... Gonna to say it to you time and time again."

That's right... He didn't have a problem "saying" how much he loved me! But when it came to showing me, through those sappy, romantic gestures that I absolutely loved... He wasn't having it! Forget It! He just didn't see that vision because that wasn't  his way to show love! This meant, I was going to have to learn to live without all the romantic things I thought marriage was all about!

As you can imagine, this sistah was fit to be tied!!! I was hot!! I was angry!!! I felt short-changed, let down, deceived, blind-sided and bamboozled! I demanded a refund on the investment I'd made into this marriage! 

On Valentine's Day, I put my foot down and I demanded gifts!!! I met him at the front door and declared that he could not come into my house without something that spoke of his undying love for me! He then rushed out in a huff and came back with a little balloon "dude" with arms and legs. Holding it by it's "hand" with a goofy smile on his face, my beloved offered that thing to me as a gesture of his love!

I was not amused!

He tried his best to apologize and make it up to me, but I spent the evening pouting and he retreated to the sofa, the remote and the TV. 

For the next several years his lack of a romantic gene continued to be an issue in our marriage. As I tried to pull him one way, he pulled in the other direction, it was clear that I wasn't going to change this man. In my frustration, I got whiney and nice-nasty whenever the issue of romance came up. As much as I pushed, he refused to be moved and I my attitude just got worst.  

When I realized that I was spending so much time being sour about my hubby's ways, I turned to the Lord to help me, change him. Yet, to my surprise, the Father started talking to me, about me! He pointed out that I had a great husband who took great care of me and in doing so, he was demonstrating his love for me each and every day! But just because he didn't show love the way I expected him to, I was missing out on the best part of having a loyal committed husband. As I thought about this, I started to see my husband's expressions of love in a different way....

He went to work everyday, came home on time and brought a regular paycheck with him.  That's Love!

He was in bed with me, every night and I never had to worry about him creeping or cheating. That's Love!

He never called me out of my name, he never hit me or made me feel ugly or unwanted. That's Love!

He took care of all the little things around the house, like taking out the trash without being asked, making sure my car was always in good working order, making sure we had what we needed so the bills got paid and he protected me from every imaginable threat, from spiders to things that went bump in the night! 

Yes... That's all love!!! It's true, my hubby needed to learn about those sweet little romantic touches that made me smile. But I needed to learn what real love is all about! And this is what I learned.... 

True Love is not something you suddenly fall into and it's not a fantasy you read about in romance novels or watch on Cable TV.

True Love is a life commitment you make, to share the best of yourself and the worst of times, with someone you really love, genuinely like and deeply care for!

True loves begins with a heart connection on a spiritual level... It's a conversation... an ongoing dialogue that starts with a spark of common interests, and continues along a journey of discovery, growth and change that lasts a lifetime!

It's so important that you get this before entering a serious relationship, because true love is not the same as a romantic fantasy! True love must be so much more than that and here's why...

Once the candles burn out and you see what they look like in the light of day...

Once the champagne bottles are empty and the love buzz wears off...

Once the sheets you made love on, now stink to high heaven and they need to be washed, then that's when the real love has to kick in.

Real Love = Sacrifice... Giving... Sharing the Load... Taking Care of the Business of Life! Bills, Kids, Jobs, Housework, Personal Growth and Development, etc... etc... etc...

If all you have is the romantic fantasy with no substance, then all you'll be left with is dirty laundry, bills to pay, housework to do and leaky plumbing to fix all with someone who you may or may not even like! 

Looking back on the day I said "I do", if I had to choose between the candles, flowers and the romance or the stability of a hard-working, dedicated loving man, I'd gladly cherish the love of a good man! Because in the end, he learned the art of romance in his own little way and it was well worth the journey! 


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