At sixteen, I already stopped defining love. It’s not that I had become jaded. In fact, even at such a young age, I felt a lot of it, from friends and family. However, at sixteen I already realized there’s really no definite word, catch phrase, maxim, or quote that would ever encompass it. Love is something you give, feel, share—without expectations as much as possible.
These three actions have become my rules to live by when I got married at twenty-four. Bernard and I spend a good portion of our waking hours saying “I love yous,” and mind you, they’re not empty at all. Nor am I pretentious, looking for a way to appease him or make him feel good, special, and needed.
That love, however, can mean a lot of things: forgiveness, gratefulness, appreciation, kindness, compassion, sympathy. It stands for “You look good today” or “I may not like everything about you, but I still take you wholly anyway” or “You did a good job” or “Thanks for washing the dishes, taking the trash away, or cooking the meal.”
Love, after more than 10 years of being together, means everything about Bernard, all about our marriage, and the many years we’re going the spend as the best of friends and couple.
Can forever be measured? Certainly not by the limits of physical reality. It is an abstract concept meant to illustrate the edge of space and time, or the lack thereof. It is then the perfect boundary for that thing called love, because real love has no bounds. Real love is meant to last forever. But how can mere mortals show love in its purest form to someone? How can we prove that our love is immeasurable? Through rings and a solemn vow in marriage.
It takes courage to say I love you, but even real guts to exclaim I do. Saying I do means you will be saying I love you every day for the rest of your life. It is waking up with the same person, and doing everything with them. There will be moments that are best left forgotten, but they are often trumped by all the best memories one will ever have. It is the understanding that you will never be whole unless when you are with your better half. Marriage will separate men from the boys, and will make women out of young girls. When the fates of two people in love are strung and bound in marriage, it will not decay nor unravel, because it is forever.
Writer: Milafel Hope Awe-Dacanay