For most people, the three big words in a budding relationship are “I love you.”
But that wasn’t quite the case for me. “You are beautiful” are words that really defined the beginning of my relationship with my husband.
We had been friends since high school. We saw each other through breakups and were not afraid to be completely ourselves around each other. We casually said we loved each other as our tight knit group of friends often did.
When our friendship started to become something more, I had my insecurities. I knew all the girls he had dated; I worried that I did not match up. He said he loved me, but did he think I was beautiful?
I remember the first time we were going out as a couple with our friends. I felt excited but also nervous about the transition to a relationship and how it would work. He came downstairs as I was finishing getting ready and gave a sweet, sincere smile.
“You look beautiful,” he softly said. I knew he meant it, and all anxiety about the day quickly disappeared. Those words told me that he not only loved me, he treasured me in a new and wonderful way.
Mike telling me each day that I am beautiful set the foundation of our relationship. He told me I was beautiful over the phone as we spent a majority of our relationship before marriage hundreds of miles apart. He has sent countless texts with the words, “you are beautiful” over the years on my best and hardest days.
He told me I was beautiful on our wedding day. Now he tells me I am beautiful in stretched out t-shirts and gym shorts. He tells me I am beautiful as I walk up and down the halls trying to move along labor, in a hospital gowns falling off my shoulder. He tells me I am beautiful when he comes home to a messy house, screaming babies, dishes in the sink, and dinner half made. He tells me in the quiet hours when all the kids are asleep and we have time to ourselves again.
These words have reminded me time and time again how much he loves and values me. And that expression of love is something he has passed down to our kids.
“You are so boo-ti-ful,” my two year old son proclaimed to me while I lay exhausted on the couch, nursing a newborn baby. He then shot a smile to my husband, Mike, who gave him a wink. My heart melted yet again.
Our son occasionally still surprises me with those sweet words as an almost five year old. He takes just after his father.