Whilst our day-to-day exposure of love is usually captained by the exhibition of expensive gifts, forced smiles in front of vaguely interesting landmarks and a series of tweets meagrely attempting to convince the world that that girl you went to school with is enjoying a whirlwind romance 365 days a year, it fails to tell you that what is being outwardly transmitted is not necessarily true love. Whilst I do not profess to be the Orlando Bloom nor Cilla Black when it comes to this topic, I can give you the true transmission of my own love.
Hello, my name is Adam. I have been romantically bonded with Hannah for nearly four years now. Whilst we have both agreed not to buy one another a card this year, below is my open letter to her for this Valentine’s day.
Whilst you are already aware of how immensely proud I am of you, for every project, every achievement, and every obstacle you overcome, I perhaps fail to keep you up-to-date on how much you mean to me. I can say ‘I love you’ every morning and night, and you returning those words to me are what keep me getting up again the next morning — but what do those words mean?
I love you Hannah — these four words to me mean a lot. They mean the takeaway orders and movie rentals, the giggles in the shower, the playful spanks when we’re cooking, the hand holding when someone awkwardly cuts an onion during a crucial, emotional moment in a film. It means the walks through the park, the spontaneous adventures, the holidays foregone, the shouting about chores and cuddles with the family we’ve made.
We do not openly post cringe pictures of ourselves to the internet each day, we save them for ourselves, because looking at my porcelain bottom you screen-captured from the doggy-cam makes you smile, not thirteen likes from acquaintances on Facebook. We have not been on the copious volumes of holidays we promised one another nor that we feel we deserve to have been on, because we put building a home, and taking care of our furry family first.
Keeping up appearances is not love, it’s messy. It’s poo bags for the puppy and late nights finishing housework. But we’re not doing it alone. I’m not sure I ever could. You give me the reason to keep going, to want to care, to want to improve, and to want to find meaning in the mundane.
After nearly four years of constant and close habitation, we still find new things to make us laugh, or to make us mad. We still find things to say each and every day that say, in our little way, I love you.
Hannah, I love you. We’re just getting started.