Nightingale Nurses Love

Keep it simple: Try to love your partner

Simple, short message for Valentine’s Day: life is hard. Life with kids can be even harder. You can end up in marriages or relationships where you feel like roommates. You maybe don’t even live with the co-parent of your child. Many of us find ourselves in many different situations, and all of them are unique and hard in their own right.

I went to a wedding a few years ago and one of the toasts went something like this. “Wake up every day and try to love the other person,” the speaker said, “or commit to trying a little bit harder.” Look, sometimes there are dishes in the sink. Sometimes your spouse/partner lets you down. Oftentimes you want something done one way, it’s not done that way, and you get upset. These are the ups and downs of any relationship. There’s a micro level and, at that level, we can feel disengaged and frustrated. Job sucks, spouse doesn’t listen, kids are a terror. There’s also a macro level. A day like Valentine’s Day is about focusing on the macro. Love your person as best you can, but also realize they are human. They will mistakes. (Breaking news: you do as well.) Be the best you can be for him/her, and try the hardest to love them through the good and the bad. Obviously that’s beneficial if you have kids, but it’s beneficial even if you don’t.

Our culture loves to promote the perfect marriage or the meet cute or the “woman who has it all.” Some of these things are real and you may know people in those situations. For most of us, though, they are not real. We struggle and go through stuff. We try our hardest and fail. The script is not perfect.

Love today. Love as best you can. Try. With your partner, your kids, your dog, your hamster, or anyone else.

A simple message, but one I think we could all use more of.

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