About 4 years ago, someone asked me, “what’s the secret to a long relationship?”. I wasn’t married yet to my husband during that time and we were on our 4th year as a serious couple but I’ve known him for 6 years. It was a time when I was going through a lot of growing and exploring while my husband is quickly settling into his routine at his new job and is resisting any kind of change. We were both on a different page in life after spending years of being on the same page on everything.
“Just stay,” I answered.
I look back during that time and reconsidered my answer to see if it still holds true today. Although I had a different connotation about “staying” during that time, I would still say the same thing when asked today.
The secret to long-term relationships is staying. It is realizing that your relationship and commitment to each other is more important than time, growth, or any kind of life phase.
I say this because, in the grand scheme of things, people will always change. He or she may not be the change that you want today, but always remember that nobody wakes up in the morning and says to himself “I’m going to be somebody I hate today.” Everyone strives to be a better version of themselves even if you don’t see any actions taken at the moment. Now, it’s not the easiest decision to stay in a relationship with someone who is acting out or going through a midlife crisis. But there’s the point I’m making:
Love is choosing to stay together as you pursue a life where both of you can be happy. As long as you are making this choice every day while prioritizing love and respect for each other, you will continue to reap the benefits of loving one another no matter what the circumstances are.
I decided to call this post “Faint Memories, Intense Passions” because most of us fall for that spell in relationships. You know… that one night where you made scorching hot love but can’t remember what led you there. Or that one guy that you were madly in love with but for some reason, you can’t recall having a conversation with him that actually revealed something deep between the two of you.
We are so stuck with the passive aggressive rules of dating that we are determined to not give up the upper hand by being indifferent to the person we care about. Because the moment we show that, we make ourselves vulnerable to the truth that we are just looking for someone to love and be loved back — aka clingy for guys or crazy for girls.
I have nothing against the game nor its players. But if you’re hoping to play for keeps, you gotta make sure you’re not sitting at the poker table where all they do is bluff until you reveal yourself to them. And when you do, they will take their winnings and leave you with nothing but the broken pieces of your heart.
So the challenge remains… where is that table I’m supposed to be sitting at to play for keeps?
When I was a working as a saleswoman years ago, I was taught that every door I knock might reveal different climates. Some may be cloudy and may convert to a sale, or they may not be ready. Some are sunny and are just downright ready to shop. Some will be stormy and won’t even open its doors for you. I believe the same principles apply to finding the right person for you.
If you focus on creating a sunny climate in your world by working on yourself, becoming a better person inside and out, growing and reaching new heights, someday, the right salesman will knock on your door and you will just feel ready to let them in and share the sunshine.
About this photo
This is the original raw photo for this piece. I was shooting against the light behind and it was a tug of war between getting the small details I want or having the correct light in this photo. It was definitely a trial and error moment for me.
I originally edited this to be a colored photo with aged elements within it. For the longest time, I had this finished image while drafting this post but I could not seem to finish writing. The image didn’t seem right to me every time I look at it.
So finally, I opted to a sepia tone to convey an aged look, increased the contrast and clarity for a slightly modern look, and deepened the dark tones in the dark areas to convey remnants of a story without it being horror film-ish. I also toned down the highlights and whites so that the sky behind it is not so stark in this final version of this photo.
Also published on Medium.