I've wanted to write a post like this for a long time. About keeping love strong, and close. About settling in and accepting the waves of relationship. But until yesterday, I didn't feel ready. Because, in all honesty, I don't know much about relationships. I don't think anyone does. They're messy, complicated things, and if you say that yours isn't, then you're either lying, or you aren't being honest with yourself.
I think it was accepting that — the fact that no one knows how to cultivate the perfect relationship — that brought me to this point. The point at which I'm spilling everything I know (or think I know) about finding true love and holding it tight.
He's my twin flame. The other part of my soul that was ripped in two when I was created. He's everything, and he doesn't even have to try. Sometimes, when we're sitting in silence and he looks over at me, it's as if I'm looking at myself, because there's so much sameness and harmony and selfless desire in those eyes. And yet...
KC and I don't really fight. Ever. In the five years we've been together, not once have we battled with raised voices and radiating anger like some folks I know, or even come close. But sometimes, our relationship gets strange. We grow apart and swell together chaotically, like ocean waves. And it's terrifying. The times when we're drifting away from one another can be tough. We sit on opposite sides of the house, eat dinner together without saying much, and sleep touching, but only touching with skin, not hearts. I think this is where most failed relationships miss the turning point. During these times of distance, they give up. They accept the space as fate, and stop trying.
Yesterday, before a yoga photo shoot in the park, KC and I laid on the bed, my hair just brushing his chest, and talked. "Things are feeling strange," I said, and he agreed. For a moment — one brief moment of panic and trembling lips — I gave up. This is it, I thought. We've lost it.
This was the turning point. The choice between draining the ocean entirely and allowing it to dry up, or surviving the swells. I was about to pull the plug. But then, he grabbed me by the face and wiped away my tears.
"You just have to look at it differently," he said. And though my first reaction was doubt, I listened, and propped myself up on my elbows. "This is why we're different than everyone else. We try. We talk about things when we start to drift apart. And look at us — we aren't even trying right now. We always talk about how we need to do something. Go out, get out of this apartment, explore a little and love a lot. But we don't do anything together, and work is long and hard. From now on, let's actually try, ok?"
So we made a promise. A promise to go on picnics and take the dog out to the park. To fly kites in the wind and find a place to hike. To spend time talking at night instead of sitting in opposite corners of the house. To play, and tickle, and make love, and be sure that no matter what, we stay just as much in love as we are now.
During the photo session, my photographer finished up my yoga asanas with a few snaps of KC and me. And it was here that I realized. When she told me to look down, and him to kiss me on the forehead. Before I dropped my gaze, I caught his eye. Those beautiful, blue eyes. Deep, like water. And I fell so madly and passionately in love again, in that moment. Growing together. Swelling, like the sea.
So I think the key to keeping that love close is to simply not give up on it. Ever. Even when you reach that precipice that seems like you've lost the spark and the shine of newness. Because, like a strange, warm ocean, you will drift apart and swell together, time after time. Ride the waves, and be sure to enjoy every moment. Each moment is new. Each moment is an opportunity. Remember that. Make the effort — it's always worth it.