You know that period when all the initial excitement in a relationship has faded?
You are past bending over backwards for his every little need, you get over daydreaming of various scenarios of the future, you get over marveling the way his melting brown eyes seem to twinkle at one of your inside jokes?
When he’s done wearing crisp shirts and reverts back to his grunge look, when he’s past centering you in his world and starts becoming vague during one of your endless yakking sessions?
The seemingly endless hours on the phone starts dwindling to just an hour at night?
That’s when the real mettle of the relationship is tested.
You feel he’s changed.
Earlier all he needed was you. Now he’s finding a way to balance his social life with you. Earlier he used to be supportive of every little thing you do, even painting your nails black. Now he questions the sanity of getting that fourth piercing you always wanted. Earlier he never felt the need to talk to other girls, not even friends. Now he justifies his need to have female friends just as you do.
Earlier he loved every dress you put on, his eyes shone when you twirl around after spending hours dressing up for him.
Now you neither feel the need to dress up nor does he notice.
Masks come off.
Faults become apparent, ones that you previously saw but conveniently chose to ignore.
Fights become the order of the day. Not the cute ones, the ones where you ‘roothify’ and he ‘manaofies’. The real, bitter fights.
Monotonous patterns of conversations set in.
Egos start clashing.
Somewhere between all the name-calling, crying, hating and tentative making up, you reach a point where you question the meaning of your relationship.
You drag on with all the doubts in your head, first trying to recapture the magic swearing to yourself that it’s just a phase and you’ll get over the rough patch, later resign to the fact that it’ll never be the same again.
You wonder what you are doing wrong. What he’s doing wrong.
Then one chilly day, your world is knocked over. You are rudely awakened to the fact that your world is not cozy and all people are not angels like you believe them to be. You get the worst end of a crappy deal, you lose friends and your family very nearly disowns you. You realize that pain can sap the life out of you, that you can feel your insides dying slowly.
You go through the worst nightmare of your life and come out the other end, fragile and shaken to your very roots.
He sees you at your worst, sees you make mistakes and stumble, sees you broken and curled up into a tight ball of hurt and he stood by, holding you, saying nothing.
You gave him the option of walking away, he chose not to take it.
Instead he stuck like a burr to your side.
And you realize that the only hand that held on tight to yours and never let go, was his. The only shoulder you leant in on without having to worry about betrayal, was his. The only person who even listened to what you had to say, was him. The only one who defended you, like a tiger protecting his pride from the hyenas, was him.
And he says, we’ll get through this. We will.
Not ‘you’. But ‘we’.
That’s when you know that it’s not the rosy tinted glasses and the eternally mushy blog posts that make up love. It’s not the sweet-nothings or the wild want that makes up love. It’s not the talking on the phone 24x7 and knowing where the other is all the time that makes up love. It’s not even the frequent ‘I love you’s’, the diminishing numbers of which had you worried.
Nope, all that might be part of what makes it beautiful but it's most certainly not love.
Love is that when you know it’s much more.
Love is when you go through fire and emerge as two halves of a whole.
P.S: I'm not going through any dark pain, unless you count a nagging headache and this is not my personal story or anything:P This was supposed to be a mushy love story, just ended up veering a bit to the dark side.