The Truth About Love

I feel like I need to set the record straight about love, not that I am an expert at relationships or that I think I am a qualified know-it-all just because I have a ring on my finger. I just think everyone needs to know the truth about marriage, or just relationships in general, because I’ve been getting lots of squeals from friends and readers who come to me and say ‘you’re soooooo lucky that (insert text, usually along the lines of ‘you have such a sweet husband’)!

Now, have you ever looked at another couple (whether we’re single or not), and sighed in exasperation, thinking how loving the couple is, wishing that you could have a relationship like that or worse, wishing that your significant other would behave like that significant other?

*Hands up* I have. With different forms of severity on occasions, when I was single, dating other guys and even when I was engaged to M.

But, have you bothered to look at these couples through a microscope?

*Hands up* I have. Too. Not because I want to seek out flaws that would make me feel stoked about my relationship, but because I need to realise that what we see with the naked eye is the tip of the iceberg, and a couple’s relationship is what it is today because of the trials and tribulations they have gone through, and the trials and tribulations that they are still going through today.

Take our relationship for example. Yes, I have waxed lyrical about all the wonderful things M has done for me. I have also gone on and on about the precious life lessons that M has taught me and the beautiful experiences that we’ve shared in our lives together. But not everything is a bed of a roses. No relationship is perfect. We don’t always brush our teeth before our morning kiss. No, we don’t always have a morning kiss, or even a hug (we do stand stone-faced in the toilet, facing the mirror, brushing our teeth and moaning about how each other snored the night before). We have our daily lives to manage. We have each other’s idiosyncrasies to bear with. We disagree, we argue and yes, we fight. We elbow and nudge each other about each other, about our families, about friends, work, laundry, toilet seat, refilling the water jug, oh the number of things we disagree on, however mundane they are! One day, we’re going to even frown our way out of how best to teach our children – his way or mine? Heck, guess what, we even had a huge fight in front of our bridal party during our wedding rehearsal two days before our wedding, and this was something that raised an eyebrow or two about our relationship-almost-turned-marriage about 1.5 years ago! But we’re still here, hand-in-hand and even more so in love today.

What I am saying is every relationship has its quirks. Not everything is a walk in the park. I don’t dress in pink, he doesn’t dress in blue, and we don’t share an ice cream by the Parisian sidewalks (although I would very much prefer a macaron from Pierre Hermé, and no I don’t like to share those macarons…), not every single day, anyway. A relationship is not about the number of gifts that have been exchanged, or the number of fancy dinners and exquisite travels that you’ve been on together. A relationship is most certainly not about the number of times that he or she has given in to you. Forgive me for my less than elegant words, but a relationship, to me, is a big life lesson of some sort. We choose to be with a person and we choose to learn from that special someone. He or she will come with cracks and chips that you wouldn’t like. He or she might in theory, be your arch-enemy if you try and match up your traits. But the one you love, will be the one you choose to be with in spite of all this. I don’t mean to draw a comparison to inanimate objects but you know the feeling that you get when you simply have to buy a knitted top you laid your eyes on even though it’s a little unravelled? That is love, my friends. You love that unravelled sweater, even though there’s a perfectly nice and fault-free silk blouse on the other shelf. You love the chosen one, even though he irks you sometimes, even though you fight.

And that is how I love my husband, M. Personality-wise, we were poles apart when we started going out. He is gregarious, warm, chatty and so very optimistic. I am….well, let’s just say that if he’s the sunny Carribean, I am probably London, cold, bleak, grey and brutally pessimistic. We got together despite the naysayers and the gambler’s nightmarish odds. We fought it out to be where we are today. More like each other, and generally, just very happy with who the other person is despite the glaringly obvious kinks. We still argue, yes, but we do so now with a well-learned knowledge about how best to communicate without tipping over the edge, and we do so with the consciousness that we will emerge from it learning more about each other than if we were to whisper sweet nothings over a candlelit dinner every day for the rest of our lives.

So yes, I am sooooo lucky, not because I have a sweet husband (which he is on the occasions that we aren’t fighting), but because I have found my unravelled sweater.

Have you found yours?



26 thoughts on “The Truth About Love

  1. Jasmine

    That’s a really sweet post, and food for thought indeed.
    As I grow older, and even more so now that I’m doing this PhD (and don’t see myself graduating till I hit 30), my thoughts on love/relationships have changed a fair bit.

    When I was much much younger, I entertained thoughts about having someone good looking as my other half. But, really, these days, it’s about finding that someone you can relate to, and who will be there for you, whom I have yet to find.

    1. The Pleasure Monger Post author

      Jasmine: I do agree that it used to be all about the exterior, about the nice dates, but now, age, my failed relationships and the one happy one with M have taught me so much. It’s all about being together, no matter what. And I hope with all my heart that you will find someone whom you so deserve one day!

  2. bookjunkie

    Thank you so much for writing this. Not many people would be brave enough to share the truth. From what you wrote I could relate so much and it was indeed refreshing. I too on somedays feel like my partner and I are opposites and with different interests…but somehow we work. In terms of the personalities you mentioned we’re certainly like different countries. Love the analogy you gave.

    I always looks at other lovey, dovey couples as perfect, but when I ask them they say they fight all the time….so I guess it’s just normal 🙂

    1. The Pleasure Monger Post author

      bookjunkie: Yes, I do think that we look to others too much, many times, we need to look within ourselves and examine what we have. We’ll find that what we’re looking for, is probably already in our vicinity.

  3. Lady J

    Thanks for sharing this as I feel I can relate to what you wrote. I’ve been married for 4 years now and like you said, it ain’t a walk in the park. We used to fight over the strangest things (oh, totally relate on the toilet seat – that used to drive me NUTS) but at the end of the day, we still make each other laugh. I guess that’s what love is all about.

  4. stardust

    I like this entry and I agree with you. it’s only after you can see how worth it all the fighting, disagreements, discussions can be, that at the end you can still forgive each other and give and take..that to me is more important than remembering anniversaries, makan dates and little gifts. At the end, the emotional invisible support is what the relationship will fall back upon.

    Wishing you two a lovely year. I like P. Herme too..and we tried sharing those tempting macarons in Paris (he gave in more with smaller bites heh heh).

  5. Selena

    Well said! I have been a silent reader on your blog for a few months now. Thank you for putting into words very eloquently what I feel too but have found it difficult to express myself.

  6. Janice

    Thanks for leaving a trail so I could read this – SUCH a true entry. I couldn’t agree more. I get the same comments of course, and I sometimes wonder if people realize how much work goes into a marriage. Happy for you!

    1. The Pleasure Monger Post author

      Janice: Thank you for stopping by! Indeed, a lot of work goes into one and it’s easy to throw in the towel and go with the good times only. That’s when we know that we love someone beyond anything else – when we choose to spend bad times in addition to the good with someone.

  7. Z

    Poignant entry babe! It’s apt that i’m reading this with 2 weeks plus left to my big day. Indeed a relationship or marriage is not a walk in the park, it’s really a work in progress and you can’t expect it to be peachy or perfect. And yes the toilet seat thing irks me too and we’re not even living together yet! I like this quote that I always hear on Class 95, something about it’s not about being the one you can live with, but the one you can’t live without. I’m sure we can both relate to that 🙂

  8. Han

    Beautiful entry, Rachel! I can relate to much of what you wrote. In a good relationship, the couple makes each other a better person.

  9. maybs

    Well said (or rather written)! I couldn’t agree more. Hands up too to having couple envy..but I’ve also learnt since that a great relationship comes with constant hard work (thankfully the toilet seat part was sorted with much ease.) My HTB is not perfect..but neither am I –– I am an unravelled skirt to my unravelled sweater!

  10. fabuleuxdestinbrenna

    This is just the sweetest post ever! I liked reading your insight about relationships – it’s real! And it gives me hope that I will find my unraveled sweater. Also – I cracked up about your gluttonous macaroon ways 🙂

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