Every Saturday is reserved for what Erik and I call our "Saturdates" - the day is reserved for us and us alone, doing whatever it is we decide we want to do. It is our time to simply connect with one another, and it only ends once we have had our fill, so-to-speak. It might last a couple hours, it might last all day. Typically we go out to lunch, watch some TV, then make out like teenagers down in his studio, because the real teenagers who live here don't need to see that shit. EW.
Our latest Saturdate began with some chitchat in bed, and I said that I needed to hop into the shower before going anywhere. I jokingly asked Erik to keep his expectations low. "I need to shower, but you certainly won't be getting a princess when I finish getting ready. Think hand maiden instead. And you can be my stable boy..."
And we did laugh. We laughed quite a bit, because that's how a relationship is. It isn't about getting dressed to the nines, with everything always perfect and in its place. It isn't pristine or without flaws, as I feel society would like us to believe it should be.
It's kissing with morning breath while you hug and snuggle with smelly armpits and dirty hair. You rub her dirty, sweaty feet when she gets home from work because those feet worked fucking hard that day. You set aside clothing in the spare room so that you don't wake him up when you get ready in the morning, because he was up until 3:00 am painting his goddamn heart out and he needs some sleep.
It's admitting when you're wrong and striving to do what's right, even if it means swallowing your pride and vowing to do better. Both of you. Always. It's saying Thank you...I appreciate you...What can I do for you? It's recognition, it's arguing, it's communicating, it's negotiating until you both come to an agreement with whatever issue is bubbling up and causing problems.
It's crying and laughing and reassuring and believing in one another. It's ugly and beautiful and smelly and visceral and gut-wrenching because you know that what you have is a gold mine and you'll do anything and everything in your power to protect it. Always.
So if you ever find yourself falling short of what society is telling you what a successful relationship should look like (and that goes for literally ANY relationship), go ahead and tell it to fuck right off. Make your own rules. Be happy. Do whatever it takes. Find your own groove. Don't be afraid to hurt - burn yourselves up, rise from the ashes, and love what you have together, smelly armpits and all.