Intimacy in Marriage

Encouraging Christian Women toward Healthy Sexual Intimacy

What is Better Than Falling in Love?

 

What is better than falling in love?

Staying in love.

Staying in love is better than falling in love.

But it's harder.

Harder to stay in love.

Falling in love is how a runner feels at the beginning of the race.

Excited. Full of adrenaline. Eager. Dripping with optimism. Believing that everything good is possible.

And frankly it's how they feel at the end of the race too. Thrilled to have made it. Delighted. Full of a sense of accomplishment. In awe.

But during the race? In the middle? In the thick of it?

Yes, staying in love is hard.

The beginning and end mean little -- almost nothing -- without the middle. In races. And in love.

Still. This truth remains. Staying in love is better than falling in love.

The first look, first kiss, first "knowing this is the one" -- and the 10th anniversary and 25th and 50th…  well, they mean little without the middle.

Staying in love is better than falling in love.

We barely have to work at falling in love. But staying in love?

That takes intention. Grace. Trying. And trying again. And. Trying. Again. Paying attention to small nuances.  Letting slight offenses slide. And some big ones, too.

My great-grandmother once wrote in her journal, "Love feels and knows from the little things that would mean nothing at all to anyone else."

Yes.

Staying in love is better than falling in love.

Those who fall in love have felt their heart stirred with nervous bliss. Caught off guard -- and relentlessly enchanted -- by a hunger to be in each other's presence.

Seems counter-intuitive that anything could be better than falling in love.

Staying in love is better than falling in love.

We risk much when we fall in love. But nothing compared to when we stay in love.

And yet, staying in love is better than falling in love.

I remember falling in love, with all its romantic gestures and fond affections. I remember what it felt like to be blind -- even purposely naive -- to any struggles and hard curves the road ahead could present.

Easy to spot two people who have just fallen in love. They need no disclaimer.

They are their own billboard.

Staying in love? Much harder to recognize.

It carries its own calling cards, for sure. But nearly all of them happen behind closed doors, far away from the lights and cameras and beautiful exterior that are inherent with falling in love.

Staying in love chooses to persist within the monotony of life, day after day. Year after year. To offer each other a compassionate glance. A helping hand.

A gentle touch or embrace that whispers without words, "I'm in this with you. I'm right here. Right here."

Staying in love is better than falling in love.

Staying in love tackles hard questions. Has skin in the game. Doesn't sidestep the fragments. The loose ends.

Staying in love tenaciously reveals that there are no short cuts to authentic intimacy. None.

Falling in love affords us best impressions.The beginning threads of binding our soul with another.

Falling in love is astonishingly beautiful and needed and worthy. It arrives enthusiastically with mysteries begging to be explored.

Hard to fathom that anything could be better than all of that.

And yet. Staying in love is better than falling in love.

Staying in love shows up at 1 a.m., paces the floor with a wailing newborn. Staying in love offers its effort and best self to chaotic calendars. Cumbersome finances. Unpredictable careers. And cluttered hearts.

Staying in love is forged in delivery rooms. And doctors' offices. And mortuaries.

Staying in love finds its footing in the most unstable and treacherous terrains of grief and crisis and cavernous disappointment.

And it abides and thrives in the crevices of the ordinary. Simple joys. Shared victories. Understood laughter. Familiar safe havens.

Falling in love is washed in vibrant color. Staying in love is richer, though. Hues and depth and complexity absent everyplace else.

Staying in love is better than falling in love.

Staying in love closes the bedroom door. Wraps itself beneath the sheets. Chases and finds and delights in its desires.

Falling in love wonders about possible promises up ahead.

Staying in love settles in. And lives them.

What is better than falling in love?

Staying in love.

Staying in love is better than falling in love.

Copyright 2014, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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November 5th, 2014 by