The Love Test: How to Know It's Real

The Love Test: How to Know It's Real
Follow Nicole on Twitter @RealTalkNic

By Nicole Harding

Lately I have heard from women young and old talking relationships, specifically marriage, and what I am hearing is a bit startling.

“I need to feel butterflies, or it’s over” said one. “If he buys me a vacuum for a gift he can pack his bags,” said another. 

“How do you know it’s the real thing, I need that special feeling,” says yet another who lives with the father of her two children but is still unsure about the next step.

Stop. Right. There.

My response has been a variation of the following: Fairy tales are for little girls. A man is not supposed to save you. In fact, if you need saving, you will probably attract the wrong kind of man. Butterflies indicate attraction--not love--and if the vacuum is a Dyson….girl quit playing!

The Love Test:  How do I know it’s really love?

I know it’s really love when my son awakens in the middle of the night from a bad dream calling for his Daddy, and before I fully open my eyes he’s already in his room.

I know it’s the real thing when he endures yet another dreaded flower show and takes pictures during the outing.

I know it is the real thing when the bills are paid and there is nothing left and we feel satisfied with just each other.

I know it’s the real thing when the bills are paid and there is plenty left and we break into the running man as we agree upon our splurge!

I know it’s the real thing when sickness darkened our door and we wrote our own playbook about how to handle it together.

I know it’s the real thing when this man of few words starts my car before dawn, silently walks me to the car and waits until the taillights dim before closing the garage door and crawling back into bed.

I know it’s the real thing when he agrees that a friend is a low down dirty shut your mouth on Tuesday (when I can’t stand her) and yet he doesn’t flinch when I’m back at her house drinking wine on Friday when I love her again.

I know it’s real because we are realists. We have seen bad, and very bad. We have seen spectacular. And we are smart enough to know that none of it is constant. The only thing we count on being constant is the love we have for each other and our children.

I can see him come downstairs out of the corner of my eye and say, Damn! That’s nice. Other days his feet bet’ not touch mine under the covers because I can’t stand him. But we are here, together. 

So I tell these single ladies, instead of looking for butterflies, you should be looking for glue; attraction is easy to find stick-to-it-ness is not.

And while you are waiting for your prince, I’m going to put lines in the rug on Saturday morning with that Dyson vacuum and say, “Baby, this vacuum is all that...and after 20 years, so are you!!

Real talk people!

Nicole Harding is an expert in leadership development and a wife and mother focused on spreading positivity; one conversation, one home project, and one dynamite deal at a time. Follow Nicole on Twitter @RealTalkNic

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