I was quick to fall for his crooked smile, gentle eyes and his ability to entertain me with his ‘shit talk’. Our relationship was intense for the first few months, as most relationships are in your early twenties.
Always the romantic, it didn’t take me long to believe that he was ‘the one’. You wouldn’t believe how shocked I was three months in when he told me he was moving overseas on a working holiday visa he’d arranged before we met. When he said goodbye to me with the words, ‘… ‘til next time,’ my friends were convinced the whirlwind romance was over and I’d never hear from him again.
I was left shattered, but hopeful that what I’d felt was real. If only I’d known Dave a little better at the time, I’d have known that there was no hidden meaning in those words. It was just Dave working things out in his own Dave time.
A move to the other side of the world didn’t stop our love for each other. Dave wooed me with poetry, sketches, and flowers on special occasions. We emailed almost every day and spent our money on ridiculously long phone calls.
A few months shy of a year across the world, Dave blindsided me again. He wanted to return to Australia to be with me. He came laden with gifts and a stronger love despite being apart from each other for the better part of a year.
Dave’s return to Australia before his visa expired and before he’d seen out the plans that led him overseas in the first place, was the greatest romantic gesture I’d ever experienced. Our love had grown while we were apart and he couldn’t bear to be away from me any longer. Be still my beating heart.
I pictured a life with Dave full of grand gestures, flowers, gifts and surprises. The move to Australia, however, was where the romantic gestures ended. Valentine’s Day went past with nary a card and more often than not he had to be reminded about birthdays. I used to worry that he just wasn’t that into me, but these days I’m older and wiser and much more realistic.
After experiencing 16 years together our love has shifted. It has deepened and strengthened as we’ve journeyed together through life’s ups and downs. I no longer pine for grand gestures (although the bike at Christmas completely blew me away). I see and feel the love on a daily basis and that’s all I could ever want or ask for.
I feel it when we wake in the morning with puffy eyes and morning breath and smile at each other.
I feel it when we lie in bed and cuddle close our bodies melding perfectly together.
I feel it when we stand united in raising our kids.
I feel it when he listens to my problems and is genuinely concerned.
I feel it when he tells me his problems and offloads what’s weighing on his mind.
I feel it when he wants to fix my or the girls’ problems.
I feel it when he walks through the door early after a day’s work, his eyes twinkling thrilled to have his three girls squealing with excitement, ‘Daddy’s home!’
I feel it when we laugh together.
I feel it when we cry together.
I feel it when we can’t stay mad at each other for more than five minutes.
I feel it when he makes light of my faults and even finds them endearing.
I feel it when we share our hopes and dreams for the future.
These are the things that matter. The cards and flowers and gifts are just icing on top. All I ask for this Valentine’s Day is a hug and a kiss and a cuddle on the couch, while we spend time simply enjoying each other.
Are you a romantic at heart? Will you be spoilt this Valentine’s Day or will you be spoiling your loved one? Is Valentine’s Day just another day to you?
Linking up today with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.