“Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It’s light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But love after three children, after a separation and a near-divorce, after you’ve hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you’ve seen the worst and the best—well, that sort of a love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.” –What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty
In What Alice Forgot, the protagonist is faced with a world completely changed from what she knows, when she wakes up and finds she’s lost 10 years of her memories. Her life is different, her relationships are different, everything is different. She spends a majority of the book attempting to assimilate into this foreign life; trying to regain her memories yet not knowing if she actually wants them back. I couldn’t have read this book at a better time. I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships lately. Always circulating around certain ideas. Relationships are hard. Is love always supposed to be new and exciting? Does time make love boring?
It’s so easy when you first start dating someone. Everything is truly exciting and exhilarating. You learn so much about this person who is just the most fascinating human being on the planet. You devote so much of your energy and effort to them. They easily become, for lack of a less cliché phrase, your world. But what happens when you’ve heard that one silly story about their childhood for the seven zillionth time? When spontaneity because routine, comfort takes precedence, and priorities change? When new dimensions and obstacles are thrown in your way?
Relationships run their highs and lows. If you haven’t experienced that in yours, brace yourself because it will eventually happen. I don’t say this because I’ve got a pessimistic view on love — I’m actually quite the hopeless romantic. I say this because a relationship takes actual work. It’s not something you perfectly fall into once you find your “soul mate.” It doesn’t work because your partner is the one. It works because the two of you put in work.
While there’s a certain glee about a fresh relationship, newer is not always better. But old isn’t either. Love, like life, is only boring if you make it that way. You’re not the same person you were ten years ago. No one is. Just as people rediscover themselves, a relationship must do the same.
So yes, love is hard. Sometimes, it’s the hardest thing to do. And a relationship is not always new and exciting but it’s not always boring. It can be whatever you want it to be if you put in the work.