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How to Stay in Love

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1. Find your teenage courage to love again

Love LB with everything you've got. Love her like you did six years ago, back when you were the boldest version of yourself. Love like you have nothing to lose except solitude, fear and cynicism. The audacity you had then is the audacity you need now.

2. Drop the metric units

Part of your strength as a couple is your flexibility, your ability to negotiate and warp gender roles effortlessly. Because your love is dynamic and fluid, both of you continuously evolve.

3. Stop idealising each other

Slowly, you realise you love her for her flaws. You love her hang-ups and her idiosyncrasies. You love her because of these things, not despite them. Because, because, because.

4. Burn the map

You're still crazy in love, seven years after the first rush. Your love is deep and unfathomable. You could get lost in each other.

5. Assassinate rationalism

Don't list the reasons why you love her because those are probably the reasons you like her, the things you tell people when they ask you. But your love isn't rational. Most of the time, you can't even explain how or why it works. You don't know why it's different with her.

6. Love the tiny spoon

Sometimes, you bust out laughing when you notice how small her shoes are. Sometimes, when you're not looking, she tackles you on to the bed and shouts touchdown! Sometimes, LB dances while you play video games. She makes you watch baby elephant videos and sticks monopoly money in your wallet. And the truth is, you love every spoonful of it because it's her, it's her, it's her.

7. Slow down

Every now and then, you watch her sleep as the morning sunlight sneaks through the blackout curtains and casts oblong shadows on her face. Sometimes, her eyelids flutter as she sleeps. Sometimes, you kiss the shadows of her face before sneaking into your office.

8. Go on dates every week

She's the only person in your life you can probably take for granted and she's the only person you will never take for granted precisely because it's her and precisely because it's you.

9. Open your mouth

According to Hindu tradition, words have vibrations. The word love is both an act of affection, an act of confession and an act of healing. I love you. Te amo. You tell her these things all the time. You don't want her to forget that she's loved. You don't want her to live one day not knowing how much you love her.

10. Create a New Language

Every day of your life, you try to find a different language to express what you feel for her, telling her without the words.

This piece was originally published in The Good Men Project.

Other articles by Jackson Bliss:

Why Love Doesn't Have to Make Sense
A Scarcity of Affection among Men

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