What it Feels Like to be in Love: An Open Letter to the Man I'm Going to Marry
By Vanessa Palencia
Our beginning is a fairytale. I know that sounds so cliché, but it’s true. I believe that the beginning of any love story is a fairytale when we find the one our hearts and souls are meant to be with.
When I revisit the memories of where we started, I feel so warm and alive. Kind of like how most people feel when they enter into the magical realm of Disneyland. Except, it’s better because every day I spend with you is like a perpetual Disneyland stay.
I know that everyone around us believed that we rushed into our relationship, but you and I both know that we are the exception. We were only establishing what should have been created years ago. Slowly but surely, they’ve all started to accept and rejoice in our love.
I’ve never been this excited and this confident for my future since I’ve been with you. I never knew that you would open up my eyes to what it really means to love and be loved. And I honestly never thought that I would get here so quickly. I see so many people struggle with their dating lives that I can’t help but feel so appreciative for what we have. But what bugs me the most is the warped definition of love that so many others have come to believe.
There’s a common misconception that love is tolerating our flaws, compromising our decisions and desires, and getting jealous over anyone that gets along well with you.
Before you, I believed that jealousy was a sign that I was head over heels in love with the person. It wasn’t until you that I realized that jealousy of any measure was a sign of insecurity. Nothing more and nothing less.
Before you, I used to believe that “a man’s home [was] his castle until the queen arrive[d].” But you showed me that a true couple in love are equal in power. Even if it’s something as small as deciding how to decorate our home. We decide together. Our home is ours.
And any flaws we may have? You’ve taught me to accept them and wear them with pride in the same manner that I have come to love yours. And the flaws we find annoying? You’ve taught me to talk them out with each other and not go complaining to our friends and family about them like people tend to do.
What I learned from you, Nicholas, is that love is more than Netflix nights and cuddle sessions. Love is about putting the other first before our own. It’s about building each other up and helping each other reach our goals. It’s about waking up and figuring out how we can help make the day brighter and easier for each other. It’s about dreaming together and ciphering how we can make those dreams a reality. It’s about being okay when we’re apart, but racing home to be in each other’s company again. It’s about being each other’s safe haven and comfort place.
Love is about building our future together, giving our all every day, and accepting and embracing every aspect of each other. It’s about feeling confident in yourself and in each other, finding the sun in the other when our days are cloudy and rained upon. It’s about protecting each other and not complaining or admitting to the other’s faults to our friends or family, but instead talking things out with each other and finding a solution or common ground.
Love is about both actions and feelings, about attraction physically and mentally. It’s about finding a balance and complementing one another. It’s about coming together and being a powerful force to reckon with. It’s about using that force as a couple to contribute something to this world, whether it’s a child or a historic mark. Love is about respecting each other, cherishing each other, and committing yourself to growing this beautiful, wonderful thing called love. It is the ultimate sacrifice and the most transcendent gift of all.
It’s a gift I’ve given you and you me. A gift and a lesson that I’ll take with me my whole life through.
I love you.