I may come across as a romantic cynic, but you can't add a few decades to the clock, have one broken marriage, and another 29 year marriage (and counting), without realising that we are seriously misled in our romantic teachings.

For a start, they don't tell you that happy ever after has to be consciously created by two people in an equal partnership, who will put in the time, effort, tolerance, kindness, and love, to move from romantic love to the real thing.  

My mum did tell me that children, finances, work, family, friends, and many other things put pressure on relationships, and a lot of your arguments won't be about the two of you, they will be peripheral.  She was right.

If you can navigate all that you may get to the wonderful position of being the 80 year old couple walking down the street together, still holding hands.  Looking each other and knowing that you're more in love with the older version of this person, than you were the younger, fitter, wrinkle-free one.

If you've been a romantic disaster so far, always remember that means you haven't met 'the one' even if you think you have.  The day I met Tony I thanked God and all the angels for all the previous break ups that I thought broke my heart.

Be optimistic, keep looking for love, and remember that true love includes arguments, but they're always sorted out, and there is never any violence or mental and emotional abuse involved.  If you suffer any of that you do not have love in your life.  You have a problem you don't need.

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"Your life is what your thoughts make it" Marcus Aurelius 1st C CE