I have a theory, not a new theory by any stretch of the imagination (after all, there is nothing new under the sun), but maybe I can express it in a new way. Our culture has idealized love in a potentially damaging way with the “happily ever afters” and “one true destined love.” I’ve fallen prey to it as much as anyone, probably more than most; I’m a hopeless romantic which I used to say with a bit of pride, but now it feels like a serious handicap. I have this idea that all my married friends have this blissful existence, wrapped up in each other’s love and, while I know life is never perfect, the pitfalls and the struggles seem so small when compared to the joy of “true love.” Recently, though, I’ve begun to wonder if love isn’t as much about the brokenness and the pain as it his about the hope and the joy. I see movies and I read books with this sacred image of romantic love and fear I’ll never experience something that great, but maybe that’s OK. Maybe love is more about the little scraps of caring and the soothing balm of a kind word or thoughtful gesture. It’s possible I’m experiencing as much love as anyone and I just need to be open to seeing it.