I wish you could see yourself through my soul
you’d see a beautiful garden covered in snow
Patiently waiting for the sun to take away the cold
and I would like to see
your flowers grow
These were the words from a poem I wrote about my now husband back in September 2020, three years ago. We had just started dating and I was wrapped up in a warm blanket of love, curiosity and excitement.
Life was like walking on a pink tinted cloud of sunshine and a warm summer breeze tangled up together in a beautiful dance — the intertwining of our souls. The exchange of energies. The beauty of getting to know someone else deeply. The exhilarating nervousness of a first kiss. I had fallen in love.
But how did I know?
When I first met my husband I was fresh out of a toxic relationship, committed to staying single and having only 1 responsibility — me.
Although single, a dream of walking head over heels in love with a tall, dark and handsome man had emerged in my sleep. I quickly brushed it off thinking it was just another left over fantasy that my brain had stored from a cheesy Hollywood film.
Then all of a sudden, on a warm summer day in June, he was standing there in front of me, in all his beauty and all his glory, with eyes that penetrated my whole being and made me feel safe just by gazing into the two brown doorways leading into his soul. It was him! The man from my dream! I was taken completely, and involuntarily, off guard.
But although that initial meeting infatuated my heart, that wasn’t quite the moment I realized it was love. Let’s continue…
We started out as friends and I would take every opportunity I could to find an excuse to see or be near him. He did not look at me with objectifying eyes, nor treat me in disrespectful manners, but was a healthy masculine figure whose aura drew me in. He truly saw me as a friend and enjoyed my company, my soul and our conversations. We could talk, bond and connect. It wasn’t this physically overpowering unhealthy attraction (although the attraction was strong), but a unity of two likeminded souls.
What stood out to me the most during that summer was my desire to see him happy. My desire to support him and see his dreams, visions and plans come true. It was an overwhelming feeling of deeply caring about a person I had just met, and although wanting to feel his arms wrapped around me in divine union, I was accepting the fact that God’s will was more important than my feelings. The love wasn’t selfish, nor self-seeking, it was just… love.
I wanted to see him happy, even if it wasn’t with me.
Then one day, three months later, after finding ourselves completing each others sentences, he wrote a text;
“We are on the same frequency”
I took the opportunity to be honest.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!”
All of a sudden my feelings were exposed. Out in the open. This was the turning point. Does he like me? And he did.
As a young woman who was frequently approached by men, I felt confident and safe with the fact that, in this case, I had been given the space to chose him before he chose me.
Over the course of these three years of falling in love, meeting each others families, exploring one another, getting engaged, marrying, making out and making up, I’ve realized that building a healthy relationship on the grounds of love is one of the most rewarding things you can do. And in a world that teaches us to not compromise, not to forgive, not to trust, not to prioritize anything over career or our independence, true love has had me transformed and renewed beyond those limiting beliefs.
So how did I know it was love?
I knew it was love when my love wasn’t conditional to what benefited me, but unconditional in the willingness to sacrifice my own will for God’s will. My love was not fuelled by a selfish agenda, but stemmed from a place of divine and genuine care for another human being.
And I still have the pleasure of knowing what love is when:
He prioritizes truth over my feelings and call out the things I can improve on instead of sugarcoating it to make me feel better. When he said “I have to love you enough to know when to not listen to you” That hit deep. In a good way.
We have disappointed each other and found ways to reconcile, heal, forgive and grow stronger from the experience together
I look back at who I was three years ago and see improvement, positive change and transformation in who I am today
We have healthy, calm and respectful conversations and discussions with one another
I learned I could trust his leadership and safely lean into my femininity
I hear him laugh and it warms my heart, when we touch and it comforts me, or how meaningful it feels to spend time together
We find ways to compromise and communicate in our everyday life, living and spending time with each other everyday, maturing in our love for each other
Maturing in love is like the roots of a tree growing deeper and deeper while seasons come and go. Leaves will wither and fall, snow will cover the ground, until the sun appears and melts the ice. Spring will arrive and new buds will grow, eventually sprouting into different shades of green and gold. Fruits will emerge and ripen to be picked and enjoyed and storms will blow up and calm down again. As long as the roots of the tree are anchored in the ground, the tree can withstand anything, only growing better, taller and stronger with time.
It can be confusing to know what love is, when love is and where love is, and even though it might be a frustrating cliché for many at this point, in my experience — you know when you know. For me, it felt different than anything else I have ever experienced in other relationships. This was something I could build on — a reliable person whom I genuinely have love and care for.
When you find that person; hold on to them, build with them, set your ego aside and lower your pride. For real love is not always a walk in the park — it challenges you, pushes you to become better.
I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to welcome love into my life, and being open and attentive enough to receive it. Marriage is hard work, but rewarding work, and it is something I pray everyone could experience.