Friday was mine and Angela’s 11th wedding anniversary. 11 Years. Crazy.
11 years ago was Cool Brittania, Britpop and Trainspotting. The internet was still a minority interest; Yahoo was only a year old, Google wouldn’t exist for two more years. It was the summer of Euro 96 when football came home and we were beaten on penalties by Germany (though we did put four past the Netherlands). Wallpaper magazine had its first issue (Still got it) and we loaded all our stuff into one transit van and moved to London.
Anyway, anniversaries are always time to think about relationships. We have had a lovely couple of days celebrating (the girls are with gran), including dinner at the amazing Acorn House (the most important restaurant to open in 200 years).
But in thinking about how to build a relationship that last it was interesting timing that I saw this article on the BBC – Misery: the secret to happiness.
“it was important to explore what people mean by a happy and healthy relationship, because nobody’s life or relationship can be in a permanent state of happiness – there will always be more difficult times.”
We still find ourselves influenced by the romantisised hollywood idealism of falling into a fulfilling satisfying perfect relationship. And when our relationships fall short of that ideal we thing there is something fundamentally wrong. There is huge pressure on single people to find the perfect partner, and huge pressure on people in relationships to pretend that things are perfect.
The promise we make on our wedding day is not ‘I love you’ but ‘I will love you’ – in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer. And love is not something you fall into, but something you plant and nurture, that blossoms and grows.
And that most famous of quotes on love actually says it all. 1 Corinthians 13 ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’
I think that we need to be much better at talking honestly about what our relationships are like, to manage our expectaions better, to do better at nurturing love rather than just expecting it to happen.