It is one thing to discover love, it is an entirely different thing to try and keep it. For most of my life I have walked around fantasizing over the whimsical kind of real love and what that might be like. To love someone so completely and unconditionally, to breathe and live another person. To surrender the only piece of floating wood big enough to carry a human body for the other person, no second thoughts, while you slowly die into numbness in freezing water, or less dramatically, maybe even be willing to movie cities, or quit a job, or break social norms and to fall utterly head-over heels in love with someone outside of your social status…..you know, all the novels and hollywoodesque cliches. The movies show you all the big picture stuff. The grand gestures, the key interactions, the important one liners that capture you and you cry when she cries because really if that’s not true love, what is? The reality of the matter is, and trust me I know, the grand gestures are the easy part. The making a big decision to be with someone come hell or high water is easy, because the one decision you make beforehand is whether you love this person that much or not. But it is the nitty-gritties of continuing to love the person, both of you with your every day flaws and the off-shoot decisions you have to make once he has decided to get on the roof of his car by your window with the boombox blaring a cheesy love song that will really get you. I have experienced love, like never before. The cant bear to be without you, the I would rather be lazy on a couch with you than attend the hottest party in town, the you are the most adorable person even when you take a piss kind of love. The kind that only seems to keep getting better with time.The kind I imagine is generally a unicorn in reality. It is the most wonderful thing to have happened to me. You begin to discover emotions within yourself you never imagined you were capable of. You discover all these facets of your own personality, its even better than the hour long session with Dr. Preuss. But then the thing that will get you will be the differences. After all you are two separate individuals. You have two different needs, wants, values, what you consider right and wrong, where that line blurs, and you will certainly have very different expectations of each other. While being in love with the most wonderful man, it has also been a time I have most struggled with my own values and expectations and aligning it with his so that the situation ends up being the most sensible and fair for both of us. We’ve both taken that route – the we are old enough to be wiser and more practical about this approach and it is exactly what is killing it. Certain approaches he has to the big questions in life I will never understand and certain values I think he needs to adopt he finds incomprehensible. We try to meet half way and I retreat because its too difficult. Because to be in love like this isn’t suppose to hurt this much. I go back to my whimsical notion of love, to have a man send me flowers just because it is Wednesday, or get up on stage and announce to the whole world how much he loves me in terrible singing. Because I dont imagine Richard Gere would have climbed up Julia Roberts fire escape only to tell her ‘okay now that you’re fine, I have to think of how best to hide your history before I can even present you to society’. Because the reality is, that would have continued to be an issue and had there been a sequel she would have had to deal with that and maybe they would have decided it was in fact easier to go their own separate ways. But the movie leaves it open ended because you and I know that love like that will overcome any and everything. Alas! that isnt true. Against my hoping and praying that it was, it isnt. Because while love like that can be discovered, its keeping the love that becomes the hardest thing to do.