Valentine’s Day Ten Years Later

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful day to celebrate love. There is nothing like that butterflies-in-your-stomach new kind of love. It’s the kind that leaves you breathless and excited. But, sometimes the best kind of love comes years after knowing someone.

Our 10th Valentine’s Day

This year my husband Corey and I will be spending our 10th Valentine’s Day together. Although we have never been big celebrators of this holiday, our 10th year together has made me pause and reflect a bit.

Corey and I on campus in the spring of our junior year at Ohio University.

When we first met as 20-year-olds in college, there was an instant attraction on both ends. However, like most college relationships, I don’t think either one of us imagined being married with a kid. I remember thinking Corey was really cute (you still are dear), but I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I just wanted to have fun.

We went on dates and did all the fun college things like late nights out with friends, studying in the library, and house parties that turned into nights out at the bar when we turned 21. I relished in going out with my cute boyfriend on my arm and endlessly flirting with him. We were carefree with minimal worries.

Our First Valentine’s Day

I’ll never forget our first Valentine’s Day. We were poor college kids who each had maybe $300 to our names, and that’s being generous. We were so poor that dates would often be going to 50 cent slice night at the local pizza place. But on our first Valentine’s Day, he splurged and took me to the fancy restaurant in town. He told me I could have anything I wanted on the menu, even a fancy glass of wine since I had just turned 21.

The restaurant even had that whole candlelight ambiance. Unfortunately Corey, as a poor college kid who wasn’t used to taking someone to those kinds of restaurants, didn’t think to call ahead and make a reservation. We ended up waiting for about an hour to eat. When we did finally get seated, we had to eat in a hurry because we had tickets to a musical. I don’t remember what I ate, or even what show we saw after dinner. I do remember running hand in hand laughing in the snow to the theater so we wouldn’t be late. I also remember feeling special that MY boyfriend would take me out in such a nice way, especially because I knew he had to have been saving up for a while.

Now, as 30-year-olds with a toddler running around, our Valentine’s dinner will most likely be at home with our other little Valentine. We are no longer the young carefree kids with no money (whew!). We are full-on adults with grey hairs sprouting on our heads to prove it.

The Honeymoon Phase is Over and the Rose Colored Glasses are Off

Although there isn’t much about my husband that is new and exciting anymore (I mean that in the nicest way Corey), I love him more now than I ever thought I could.

Recently, my father-in-law overheard us talking about our toddler pooping. We proceeded to make fart and poop jokes to which my father-in-law said: “I guess the honeymoon phase is over.” To that, I answer, yes it is and it is glorious.

That “honeymoon phase” of a new relationship is great and all, but what comes after it is even better. No longer do I have to worry about saying the wrong thing, because I know he will never judge me. No longer do I have to worry about being all dolled up; he’s seen me go through labor and a c-section with about 30 minutes of sleep within 24 hours.

I love the man my husband has become. I love the father he is to our son. I love that I know everything about him including what lame jokes he will make and that he knows I will roll my eyes at said jokes. So today I raise my glass of wine to you my Valentine of 10 years. Thank you for showing me what real love is and that like my wine, it will only get better with age.

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