Looking back on my single years, I actually thought that love was a sustained infatuation. I thought nothing could possibly beat those butterflies in my stomach. I thought that was love.
I craved the electrifying high of beginnings—like the first time I’d hug a guy I crushed on. It was that unfolding of exciting, exclusive information, being enveloped by his distinct scent.
I craved those first glances across the room, when eyes would smile intriguingly but mouths were afraid to give too much. I’d look forward to “accidentally” running into him in the hallway after his band practice, or catching his gaze in choir wondering if his eyes lingered on me a bit more than normal.
Seriously, those gazes were intoxicating, and they fueled me every morning to look my best.
Those were the days when first conversations kept me distracted in geometry class, when first kisses kept me awake at night. I’d lay in bed smiling from ear to ear, my finger on my bottom lip, staring at the ceiling trying to replay every interaction leading up to that kiss play by play. I was afraid that if I fell asleep, I’d find those memories diluted in the morning.
So I’d stay up, close my eyes, and I’d imagine his face inching closer to mine, his breath warm and raw and aching for my lips.
I honestly didn’t think anything could ever beat the beginnings and almost beginnings of relationships….
Until I got married. It’s been three an a half years. The butterflies have been replaced by something else. Ease. Comfort. Security. Someone to always ring in the new year with. Someone who is always there to celebrate with, and someone to be there when you’re feeling low. Every Valentine’s Day, you have a valentine. Every anniversary, there are anniversary gifts and celebrations.
Those things are nice and all, but they can’t really replace butterflies and excitement, right? I think the one thing that does compare to butterfly beginnings is silly conversations and laughter. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Now more than ever I advise all the single people reading this…. TO NEVER SETTLE FOR SOMEONE UNLESS YOU CAN LAUGH TOGETHER.
Because after the exhilarating beginning is over, what else will you have left? Life is already too full of troubles and tragedy and seriousness. Wouldn’t it be nice to be with a partner who you can just be silly with?
I’m convinced women, you must find a good man you can laugh with.
And gentlemen, you must find a woman who is benevolent and kind but also not so stinking serious!
And if you’re married and you realize you haven’t laughed with your spouse in forever, it’s time to start making silliness a priority. Start by making a date night to try laughing yoga or hit the comedy club. When you do hang out, try to make the mood light and flirtatious.
Nate and I don’t always think the same stuff is funny, but for the most part, we laugh at the same things. We joke around a lot. He makes fun of me, and that actually makes me really laugh out loud. I tell him all the time that I should be writing down these silly conversations because they would make for an excellent sitcom script. Nate can be a grumpy old man sometimes, and I can be a moody hormonal bitch sometimes too. But 9 times out of 10, we are enjoying each other’s company. There are inside jokes and intimate jokes; there are jokes poking fun at what we like, and there is just plain old silliness.
The best part about being married to Nate is this: we have created this little private life we share full of moments of silliness. I live for those moments. They come unexpectedly. They make me laugh until it hurts. They are the moments that make me feel the most grateful for marriage.
Everyone talks about how to have a great marriage. No one ever mentions that silliness is a big part of that equation, but I think it’s one of the biggest factors!