but don’t take my word for it

I don’t really give relationship advice. Mainly because of what I’ve learned about relationships, including my own. I certainly don’t have all the answers. All I know are the things I’ve learned over the ten years of my marriage. Ten years, that’s not so much. Means I’ve still got a lot to learn. So don’t think of me as an expert, because I am not. I’m just a girl with a story of my own.

From the beginning

From the day you were born, you started to pay attention to how people treated you. The good, the bad, and even the ugly were all part of how you view the world. They also taught you about likes and dislikes. You learned how you wanted to be treated by others. What you would tolerate, what you wouldn’t. And also what you expected.

Expectations vs Reality

There is a problem with having expectations. Reality almost never lives up to the hype. I call it fairy tale syndrome [if that is a real thing, this is probably not about that]. We get these expectations of what love will feel like, what it will look like, or how it will act. We build up prince charming in our head and we know how our queen should behave. But those are just fairy tales.

Living the Fairy Tale

I’m not saying you can’t have your fairy tale. I’m just saying you can’t have a fairy tale that’s already been written. If you let the story write itself, let go of your expectations and live in the moment, then you can and will find that fairy tale. Remember in the beginning how it made you feel? How all that mattered was those feelings.

But when the new wears off

You can’t recover the rush you get from those feelings when they’re all still new and exciting. Just like a soft cover book never lays quite as flat again after you’ve read it. New wears off with use. When your beloved childhood teddy bear lost all its stuffing, you still carried it around didn’t you? I loved my strawberry shortcake rag doll so much her head popped off.

young me and my beloved strawberry shortcake

Learn to love like that again

When we lose our innocence, we let go of so much more. We let go of our ability to love like we did as a child. When we were children, we just let our love happen. We didn’t question those feelings. We didn’t let self doubt creep in. We loved our friends, our families, our pets. And we did it all without any expectations. We were children, we didn’t know what to expect. If we had, there never would have been innocence to lose.

But don’t take my word for it

We met in high school more than 20 years ago (that’s more than half my life). We started dating over 15 years ago. (for him it was love at first sight, but I took a little more convincing). We’ve only been married for 10 years, but I’ve learned a lot about a thing or two. There’s been some rough patches. There were times we almost didn’t make it through. But here we are, stronger than ever, looking towards the future with childlike hope in our hearts. But don’t take my word for it; I’m just a girl with a story of my own.



4 thoughts on “but don’t take my word for it

  1. Tiffany, you say that you don’t have all the answers, but it sounds to me like you have the most important ones. It also sounds like you were one of the “lucky” to have felt love in your early years: you were able to recognize it later. But you can claim the credit for taking your own independent steps to keep it growing. That was ALL YOU. Great post! Looking forward your journey, and congratulations on the Pinterest launch. Whew!

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