Settle for the kind of love that’s extraordinary in all of its ordinariness. Find the person who makes you feel excited to spend Saturday doing nothing, as long as you’re doing nothing with them.
Settle for the kind of love that makes you unbelievably happy to sit there and spend your Sunday night sending work emails, or folding your clothes after pulling them out of the dryer, or chopping up vegetables while you make your meals for the week – as long as they are sitting next to you and keeping you company. Because no matter what you’re doing, no matter how boring the task, it’s still so wonderful if you get to be near them while you do it.
Settle for the kind of love where you feel like you can just talk to them. Like you don’t have to be funny or clever or entertaining enough to ‘earn’ their attention. You can just talk to them and say the things that are on your mind and admit if you’re stressed about work or that you’re missing your mom – and you won’t worry about boring them or chasing them away with your uneventfulness, because the two of you have formed the kind of bond that strips away all expectations of being interesting and fascinating and cool all the time, and instead just lets you be your damn selves.
Settle for the kind of love that simultaneously makes you feel accepted for who you are but also makes you want to be a better person.
Find someone who encourages you and supports you and loves you for you. But also, find someone whom you admire so much and respect so much and like so much that you instinctively just want to be a better person, every day, because you feel safe and supported enough to try for it, even if you fail.
Find someone who looks at you and sees you. Someone who puts their phone down, not just when you’re upset, but even just when you’re there, in front of them, and they want to show you that you matter more to them than a bunch of things happening inside of a little rectangle that will still be there in five minutes from now. Find someone who looks you in the eye and makes you feel seen and hears you but also listens to you. Find someone who makes you want to do the same for them.
Settle for the kind of love that is hard, and challenging, and so worth every ounce of effort and sacrifice and joy that you put into it. Settle for the kind of love that is rare in its everyday sense of happiness and contentment, the kind of love that grows out of little, tiny moments of affection and thoughtfulness and tenderness and warmth. Settle for that kind of love, and you won’t be settling for anything.
Written by Kim Quindlen
This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com