When Your Love Story Isn't Perfect

I write a lot about mine and Zach's relationship, and I probably always will. We have something special and we are well aware of how blessed we are to have found each other at such a young age. Zach is my best friend, my soul mate, my absolute everything. I'd be lost without him. For real. And I think that's a good thing. Our lives and our hearts are so wrapped up into each other that it would take a lot ... and I mean something catastrophic and extreme ... to rip us apart. Are you done gagging yet? Ok good. I'll carry on then.

Our relationship is great now, but it wasn't always. In fact, by all logic and reason, we should have never made it to the dating stage. Not through the dating stage ... to the dating stage. Zach broke up with me before we were even officially together. I was a psycho overly attached non girlfriend that called him 14 times in a row until he picked up. He was struggling with feeling like he was breaking a vow he made to God not to date for a year and I was struggling with getting over a toxic two year relationship that destroyed all my self worth. We were a mess, but for some reason, we fell in love and decided to make things official and then everything was better and we lived happily ever after.

Except that's a total lie because things just got messier and messier. About two weeks after we made things official, I took off to Paraguay and he took off to Ohio for our summer internships. That was our first awesome decision : to begin a relationship thousands of miles apart. Good job, guys. We almost broke up twice before I even got on the plane. Once I was in Paraguay and he was in Ohio, things got worse. He thought maybe God brought him to Ohio to meet his future wife. I thought maybe God brought me to Paraguay to test my patience with this boy because he was throwing some serious shade. Our relationship was 95% on instant messenger and that was all we had to keep in touch. Every now and then I'd walk to the store and use my calling card to talk to him, but that was rare and it almost always ended in a fight because, as previously stated, I was psycho. If he had to get off the phone before I felt like the appropriate love emotions had been communicated, I'd go ballistic. Poor guy...

That summer was crap. We almost broke up more times than I can count. We spent hours on instant messenger talking about all of our insecurities about our relationship, our fears, our failures, our ugly feelings and all the bull crap that people don't usually confront until they're engaged or married. We just took it right on. He told me he was doubting our relationship and I told him I was doubting him. We didn't work stuff out until the summer was over and we were face to face again. And even then, things were messy.

Our relationship was always messy. Always. And if it wasn't enough that we were struggling with finding our identities, our callings, trying to figure out if our relationship would ever work, we had a pretty painful departure from a youth group we were working with, someone on staff at our school decided to tell a few people that they thought Zach and I were fornicatin' and it pretty much just crushed me. Cause we weren't. Not even close. I was lucky to get a make out session once a semester cause Zach was just always so careful and respectful of the boundaries we'd set up. So for someone to say we were doing the hanky spanky when we'd never even wandered below the neck line was just ... well. It sucked.

As all the crap was happening, and daggers were being tossed, and rumors were flying, our fights got worse and my doubts grew heavy. And then ... like a break in the clouds ... I was sure. On our one year anniversary, Zach got down on one knee and asked, "Can I keep you?" And then I was unsure. And then I was sure. And then I was unsure. And then I was sure.

And then our wedding day came and when the doors opened and I saw him standing at the end of the aisle waiting for me, I was never more sure of anything in my life before or since. Until that day, our relationship was held together by strands, it seemed. We were young and immature and we were both a mess. But after we said our vows and signed a paper and finally got our hanky spanky on, our relationship was golden. And every day, our relationship is better than the day before.

Sometimes things still get a little messy. We've had our fair share of dark days and long nights. We've gone days without really talking to each other, and we've had times where even the idea of intimacy of any kind is just a joke. Things have been bad, but even when they were bad, we were good. Since the day I said "I Do", I've never doubted our relationship. Not for a second.

I think a lot of women (and maybe guys too) think that love has to be this Twilightesque perfect thing. And maybe that if your man isn't sweeping you off your feet every day, he doesn't really love you, or is cheating on you, or has a secret alternative wife and family somewhere in Canada. But love is messy, ya'll. It doesn't always start off pretty. If it does start off pretty, it's not going to stay pretty. If it stays pretty, somebody is hiding something. If somebody's hiding something, that doesn't mean the love story is over. When your love story isn't perfect, just try and remember that it's probably because people aren't perfect. But your story can still be incredible. Ours is.