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Modern Love. Or, What Happens When You've Been Dating For a Really Long Time.

Amber

Modern love is tricky, yo. You want to find your person. The one who will see the best of you and adore it, and the worst of you and love that too. The one you can't wait to pick up at the airport because you missed them while they were gone. The one you'd follow across the country if they got a new job, because your home is where they are. The one you want to sit in traffic with, buy bell peppers with, the first person you want to tell when you see a fire hydrant that looks like a drunk leprechaun. But at some point, you look around and realize you're 33 and, nope, your person is still nowhere in sight.

So now what?

In constantly beating the one-note bongo drum of Finding My Person, I've been missing a lot of awesome things right under my nose.

Maybe it's okay to enjoy someone and go on adventures with them and love them for a time. Maybe not everything has to be in pursuit of this one, exhausting goal.

1) Wanting to find your person puts a whole lot of pressure on things that are probably just supposed to be fun.

2) Forever is kind of a fucked up concept anyway. You can love the same person until the day you die, but you're still going to die. Love does not equal immortality unless you're Bella Swan.

3) For those of us who have had, um, a lot of loves, we start to feel like we're doing it wrong because our person still eludes us.

Oh, The Sticky Question Of That Dreaded Word

...Soulmate (Blech)

I believe a soulmate is anyone who gets you to a better place. Even if your entire experience with that person was a no good, horrible, very bad day. (And it rarely is, there are always incredible things - otherwise, why are you there?) If you're better for having been with them, they're a soulmate.

I have a few people who would be considered massive relationship failures by any standard, much less Disney's or the wedding industry's. But I consider them soulmates because, damn, did I grow. Grew in ways that allow me to love better, to show up better, to be better for the next person. No matter how it felt at the time, they made my life more. I'm better for having been with them. That's amazing stuff, no matter what the happy ending is supposed to look like.

Convenient But Highly Affirming Conclusion:

It's better to love for awhile than not love at all. Definitely better than sitting around and fretting about white horses and whether or not I really need the unicorn horn. I absolutely want to find my person. And I will. But I'm giving up any illusions of having control of the timeline.

Just because you won't be with someone forever doesn't mean you're wasting your time with them. If you care about them and enjoy them, it's never wasted time. Sweet baby Buddha on a toast point, no.

In the end, everything is just a choice. I choose to love whoever I have for as long as I have them. Just because we won't be celebrating our 50-year anniversary together in some far-off park surrounded by dogs and grandchildren doesn't make it in any way less. You can only ever work from - and love from - where you are. And where I am is transient, work-focused, flawed, and pretty damn great.

He's coming. In the mean time, I'll love everyone in my path.