The way you look at me

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A couple of weeks after our wedding in 2013 we got a CD from a good friend full of pictures from our wedding day. However, before we had managed to move the files to our laptop we moved to Hawaii and lost the CD in the process. Then a month or two ago it turned up in my in-laws’ house in Sweden, and this week I finally took it to the library to transfer the pictures to a USB (because.. no CD drives anywhere anymore?!), and we’ve been reliving that special day all over again since then.
These are just a few of those treasures that I thought I’d share.

A few weeks ago our awesome friends offered to watch Sophia so Marcus and I could go out for dinner. My immediate thought when they asked was along the lines of, “oh that won’t be necessary, we’re just fine!”. But we took them up on it and went to an amazing Italian place nearby.

About five minutes after we had sat down at our table I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I burst out, “Why do you keep looking at me that way? You’re acting all funny like back when we were dating. It feels all formal!”. Immediately Marcus replied, “What?! It’s not me, it’s you who’s looking at me funny!”.

After a few more minutes of this Marcus smiled and said, “I know what it is. We’re not acting weird, this is just what it was like before we became parents and we had more time to focus on each other. We just forgot what it looks like, I guess”.

Huge eye-opener for me! Because I’m sure he was right. And I had absolutely no clue.

I’m not saying we’d lost the spark or anything dramatic like that, but simply that we had maybe gotten a little rusty at being alone and just focusing on one another and our relationship. It’s not that we haven’t been good at spending time alone either, but spending time alone and not talking about Sophia, work, school or our daily or weekly agenda had proven more difficult than I thought.
Our marriage is fantastic and we have such a good relationship – only this just made me realize that it has changed a bit since we were dating. (duh, right?)

And what scared me a little wasn’t that something had changed.
It was the fact that it had happened without our noticing. That we had gone without this for so long that upon re-encountering it it actually felt strange to us.

It freaked me out a little. Kinda like that day back when I was 16 and my mom explained to me that marriage isn’t always pink and magical, and I started crying out of sheer disappointment – like a five-year-old who just found out that Mickey Mouse at Disneyland was actually just a guy in a suit… which happened to me back when I was 5.

But I manned up.
I made it a goal to be better at focusing on Marcus when we were alone together. To try and get our planning and whatever out of the way before Sophia’s bedtime so we could just enjoy one another’s company for the last few hours of the day. Marcus probably hasn’t even noticed but I have found that simply making the effort is already making a difference for me.
I’ve also gotten into the habit of regularly reminiscing our dating days, remembering my first impressions of Marcus and how I felt. This, I have found, works like a spell! Devoting some time during the day to remember our first date can send me flying into Marcus’ arms as soon as he walks in the door.

I realize how completely unromantic that sounds when I spell it out like that. Because you don’t want these kinds of things to have to be a chore. True love conquers all right?
Well, I think it does. At least, I think it does if it is exercised and kept strong. True love isn’t strong by default. But hey, words like ‘exercise’, ‘effort’ and ‘work’ aren’t the opposite of romance! If you ask me, marriage requires work to be romantic. And that doesn’t make it any less wonderful!

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