As I reached for my make-up bag, I flipped the mirror on my vanity from the magnifying side to the not-so-magnifying side. I already knew about the newly-found grey hairs on my head AND the crow’s feet flanking my eyes. I didn’t need my mirror to point them out to me.
Makeup didn’t use to be such a common companion to my morning routine. But, as the saying goes, if the barn needs painting . . . Yeah, you get the idea. In short, I wasn’t feeling as young and pretty as I once did. Age does this to us all. Now I don’t know about you, but this change disturbed me.
When my husband Victor and I were dating, we looked like babies. We were so full of youth and life. He used to sing that James Blunt song to me, “You’re Beautiful.” I honestly didn’t think there was anything special about me—I was just ordinary. But Victor thought I was beautiful. And I loved that he thought that. As for Victor, let me tell you, he was a Greek god in my eyes. Victor had more muscles than the skinless anatomy model in the biology lab. Needless to say, I found him insanely attractive.
In all honesty, I think physical attraction is perhaps the first and maybe even one of the strongest elements in a forming relationship. There is almost always that first visual connection that makes us want to know more about that very attractive person.
How very focused on physical attractiveness our society has become. But what happens when the beauty fades? Is a relationship bound to crumble when the numbers on the scale climb higher and the anti-wrinkle creams out-number the perfumes? Are good looks the foundation for keeping a marriage together?
This is, I believe, a fear that most people face: Will he still love me when I’m old? Long ago, I knew that my husband would love me no matter what I looked like. But what I didn’t know was that he would continue to view me as beautiful.
Just a few days ago, my sweet Victor looked intently at me as I pulled the car into our driveway. We had just finished attending a graduation, and I am sure I looked tired and beyond my age that day. He waited until I met his glance, and then he said something that only love would say:
“You are more beautiful than the day I met you.”
Oh, my heart melted. How I needed to hear that. And how those words spoke to me of his love. I can compare pictures from now and fifteen years ago and tell you that I am most certainly not the same girl I was then. But, bless his heart, my Victor still looks at me as a man who is in love.
So to answer the question, will the love of a marriage fade when the youth and beauty fades? I can confidently answer, no. At least it doesn’t have to. Beauty is, as we all know, only skin deep. But seeing the beauty in your spouse, no matter what the facts are, is something born purely of love.
When Victor gave me that precious compliment, I learned something priceless about our relationship. I learned that true love is not built on beauty, but beauty will always be what you see when you’re looking through the lenses of true love. It doesn’t matter if my face needs a little touching-up these days. To the man who loves me, I am still beautiful. And I always will be.
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