Earlier this month Jason and I celebrated 9 years together since that night he pulled me outside a dingy local town nightclub. Naturally, it encouraged the nostalgia of those first butterfly moments that often subside for feelings of a deeper nature and a low down on each others house chores. As I’ve passed the halfway mark of my pregnancy and time with just the two of us will soon be severely limited, it’s caused me to think about relationships as a whole and in particular those rare moments of falling in love again.
Someone wrote a note to us on our wedding day to say that marriage wasn’t about finding the right person. It was about choosing the right person and falling in love with that same person over and over again.
I wholeheartedly agree.
This is where the silence part of marriage that’s been lost amongst a sea of expectations is broken and it’s about time we talk about it without embarrassment.
I consider myself to be in a solid relationship, one that will bend and twist in multiple directions but has some deep seated root that ain’t going nowhere. Perhaps that’s why I feel ok saying that sometimes I can feel alone inside my marriage. This is not a bad reflection on Jason and you can stop the shocked faces that someone so chivalrous and caring could leave me feeling ‘alone’. He does the opposite, but I’d be lying to myself and everyone around me if I swore that I didn’t question our behaviour some days and it’s often enough because of our own insecurities that we can take things out on those closest to us, leading us to get used to just being ‘with’ somebody without really being ‘with’ them, especially once you share other responsibilities such as a home or a child, get me? So when you tap into that side of your relationship and begin to visualise and accept it, it’s so much easier to tap into the side whereby your falling in love all over again, and it’s real.
A few months ago I asked Jason if he thought I was good-looking. I knew he wasn’t going to say no (a. Because he wasn’t going to hurt my feelings like that and b. because why would he still be with me if HE didn’t look at me sometimes and see effort or beauty). However, knowing we’ve always had very ‘honest’ chats over the past 9 years, I was intrigued as to what he would say. Initially he responded with ‘you know I do’, but that didn’t suffice.. I was looking for explanations and compliments as to why he thought so (we’re all guilty of wanting attention so if you can get it from your husband then it’s win-win). Anyway, to cut a long story short it ended in a lengthy discussion about different types of beauty and answers that spoke pretty deep truths but the end line was that we summarised our ‘looks’ as being the male and female version of each other, understanding that there are aesthetically better looking people out there than each of us and we are grateful we have the ability to see it and appreciate it but we aren’t bottom of the barrel and to us, the other person is more than pleasing on the eye that it regularly leaves us winking to one another from opposite sites of the sofa. The real moral of this story is that despite any dispute over physical attraction, the most obvious outcome is how over time our looks have and will continue to change, but we see so much more than that when you take time to truly ‘see’ each other.
So how does Paris come into all of this? It’s the city of love your probably making connections with, but honestly it really is. Of course this is a disclaimer that I’m writing from our own experience, so don’t ditch that tinder date in hope for catching the Eurostar to find the love of your life. Instead, perhaps take that special person in your life to this mesmerising place and learn a few lessons about each other that open your heart just that little bit more.
Last September, Jason and I took a train holiday around Europe and besides it being one of the best decisions we’ve ever made and experienced, it happened to be that Paris was our last stop before heading back to London. 2 full days is all we had to explore this capital and a dingy hotel with a room barely big enough to pass by each other in, was in fact enough to relight our young love all over again.
It wasn’t the expenditure or full itinerary that caused us to fall in love with Paris, but the ambience, the beautiful crisp sunshine and the settings that surrounded us, changing vastly depending on our chosen path. We walked, and talked our way around the capital for 48 hours. Stopping by coffee and wine spots to take in the scenery, appreciating it’s diversity and found ourselves feeling very free. We laughed for hours on end, we stopped and took photos and we even stood just holding each other as we gazed at the most breathtaking views of the Eiffel tower. I will list our visits below but bear in mind that we only witnessed the exterior of the places we stopped by, because our unplanned attention for these memorable 2 days was purely on each other and the setting just complimented that. We wasted no time looking at art galleries or taking a ride up to the top of any towers, it was peaceful and it will probably resound in our minds as being a place of beauty and calm. (we did however, enter numerous restaurants, bars and cafes of course – anywhere that prioritised conversation is always worth your time).
So I just wanted to share this little moment of gratitude we found during a sweet and short trip. It’s amazing what the power of your own love and relationships can do when you are surrounded by enough hygee to exploit it. I fancied Jason all over again on this trip and I felt feelings that can only be described as rare after 9 years spent together. No matter how long you’ve been together, each year that passes is a year older we get individually, a year wiser and therefore provides us with a fresh year of lessons to be learnt about each other. It’s that side of love that we need to practice, getting to know each other as we change and grow, for you will often be pleasantly surprised at the achievements your special person has made.
Our spots of peace in Paris:
- Of course the Eiffel tower… Hopping off the metro at Trocadero and seeing the landmark in all its beauty during the day before walking down past it to begin a long walk along the river Seine. Stopping by any cafe or bar that takes your fancy. It happened to be Paris fashion week the days we were visiting so this walk was extra interesting as we got to take in not only the sights of Paris but the people too! Don’t miss the stretch down the Avenue Champs-Elysees.
- Getting lost around Montmartre. What a beautiful little corner of the world this is. We started the day with a walk down from our hotel and stopped by a bakery for hot coffee and warm croissants before taking a small cable car up to Sacre Coeur for some lovely birds eye views of the city. From there we headed down the cobbled streets stopping by the Instagram famous Le Maison Rose for yet again more pastries and coffee.
- Our final outdoor hot spots to wander include a stroll around Palais-Royal (where the black and white striped plinths are) and moving onto the outdoor space of the louvre museum. There are plenty of tree-lined parks nearby to stretch the legs also.
- Restaurant top pick* : Le Petite Fleur. Located in Montmarte we stumbled across this little teenie weenie restaurant that suited its name perfectly. With just two chefs and waiter and about a dozen tables it was perfect, dimly lit, cosy and had the food to compliment – even the frogs legs. The walk around this area at night is also entertaining and romantic with lots of heated outdoor seating areas for nighttime cocktails and if your into moulin rouge then this is the place to grab your tickets.
- I can’t write this without the cliche ending….. seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night on the hour is the most perfect setting you could ever imagine your eyes witnessing. If you came to Paris and didn’t witness this, you’ve 100% missed out. DO IT.