What’s Better than Lovey Dovey Feelings?

You typically feel those feelings when you’re first flirting with a guy and/or first dating.  If you so much as touch hands without trying, it’s like an electric spark gets sent straight through your arm.  The thrill of the moment is so exhilarating, and all you can think about in that moment is spending the rest of your life with that person.

I truly believe that God gave us these feelings to help us build a foundation of unity early on in our relationships.  If you took away all those mushy gushy feelings you had for your partner, especially in the beginning of the relationship, your partner would be no more than just another human being.  Even if you had the same likes and dislikes, you would probably not want to be more than just friends, and you’d both be OK with that.

But when you have those feelings, you are suddenly attached.  You’re like a duck imprinted on the first person you saw the minute you came out of your egg.  Suddenly, you want to impress this potential mate.  You might lose weight or start working out more. You might start reading to appear smarter.  You might rearrange your schedule so that you have enough time to spend together.  No matter what, your goal is to be united, and to make sure that nothing gets in the way of that union.

I used to be afraid that my lovey dovey feelings would fade.  After all, the lovey dovey feeling was all I knew!  The farthest I’ve ever been with someone (before marriage) was that cute electric stage.  Plus, growing up on fairy tales and romantic comedies, I didn’t know what to expect after the “happily ever after.”  If the “happily ever after” didn’t last forever, what would become of my marriage?  I couldn’t imagine life without feeling “in love” forever with someone, especially my husband!

My husband and I have only known each other for about 2 1/2 years, so our feelings are still in the honeymoon stage.  However, between our married small group, our friends that are married, and pre-marital counseling, we’ve heard the cold hard truth that the honeymoon stage of our marriage does not last forever.  One day, we will “wake up” and smell the morning breath that suddenly doesn’t smell so beautiful anymore.  One day, we will make plans without each other, and may go days without having quality time together.  One day, the veil will be taken off of our eyes, and we will see each other as imperfect, human beings.

I don’t know how that’s supposed to be appealing to anyone.  If that were all there was to marriage, why would anyone want to get married?

I’ll tell you.

My love with my husband is growing.  Flirting is always a mystery, but my husband’s love for me is not.  I never have to wonder if my husband loves me.  Even when we have busy schedules and aren’t able to have dinner together, even when he has a different definition of “quality time,” even when I mess up a meal and try to compromise, I know that at the end of the day, he’s still coming home with me.  And he still manages to give me butterflies by surprising me, spending time with me, and overall making me feel special.

Our love isn’t a lovey dovey kind of love.  It’s a secure, protecting, committed love.  And I’d take that over the spark any day.

If you’re afraid of your feelings fading, remember this: lovey dovey love is a seed that has to die for your committed love to grow into a strawberry bush.  The “honeymoon” love is what helps your relationship take root, but the commitment produces fruit that will sustain your marriage for many years to come.  Let your love grow, no matter the season of your love.

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