You are young and happy. Maybe your professional life could be going a little better than it is right now. But you aren't worried about that. You have someone next to you. Someone you loved -- and continue to love -- everyday. When you're at a party without your significant other and your friends ask you about your relationship, they sound uncomfortable.
They can't understand why you are doing the things that you are doing (i.e. staying in a long term relationship because you are so young and you should be out "experiencing" the world). You answer one thousand "whys" with one million "becauses". Your guard, your metaphorical shield made of heart and emotion and love is always up. You bounce cynicism back at a rate that makes you think you've broken a Guinness World Record but they still ask, question, and interrogate.
You pull your smartphone out of your pocket and conjure up a trailer for an independent film you saved to your YouTube Favorites. The title alone, 6 Years, resonates with you since it's the exact number of years you have been with your significant other. As the trailer plays across a couple of inches (you still haven't purchased a new, giant phone but that's not important), you watch your friends eyes dart from the screen to you, back to the screen then back to you and their face twists and turns like they had just smelled something they didn't want to smell.
You tell them that even though the movie isn't out yet, the trailer (kind of, sort of, probably, maybe) understands what it is like for you. They say that it doesn't really answer the question and you tell them that there is no answer. That life, your life, specifically your love life doesn't work within a binary "this" or "that". You tell them you can't define what you feel for your partner. They still don't get it. You're unsure if they ever will. But they continue to ask you questions.
And you continue to answer them. You tell them that when you wake up and see their face something inside you moves. Like there has been a Titan living underneath the soil and earth of your world. That the ground starts to rumble and shake and free itself from gravity. You tell them that you are constantly falling in love with your partner. That, yes, it has been 6 years but it feels like the first day. It always feels like the first time.
You don't really understand the science behind the reason why your relationship works, you tell them. You tell them that it isn't perfect. Everyday isn't a shining sun or an adventure, following the Great Bear back home into arms that are gentle and kind and strong.
In fact, most nights are slow crawls towards tired hands and exhausted eyes. And some nights, you pull your hair out and run to the bathroom to take a shower even though you had just taken one but you want to be alone for a second. You can actually recall more times you and your partner have argued with each other than the times you have skipped down main street, singing some song that would make the pedestrians throw-up at the sight of your love.
But you know this is healthy. You know that a relationship without arguments is one without love. You -- secretly -- love the arguments with your partner. You don't disagree on who should do the dishes or on who should pay for the movie, you disagree on real issues. Issues you keep close to your respective chests.
You learn something new about yourself through their eyes every time you spend hours debating these topics. You can see your partner learn something as well. You are, fortunately, in a healthy relationship and you foster and grow these characteristics because it isn't about the love, not really, but it's about helping someone you care about grow.
You slowly realize -- through the bitter taste of alcohol and the thick smoke of cigarettes -- that your friends interrogate you because they are honestly interested in how you've managed to make something work. Essentially, they are jealous of what you have.
No matter how many times you tell them that you aren't creating constellations with your partner every night, they don't believe it.
And, well, neither do you.
Sure, you argue. You fight. But the truth is that you love. You love with something so pure and true that it's really hard for you to put into words. There's something inside you that's alive and that's all that matters. You know how you feel and how your partner feels. You know it's been 6 years, you know how long that is. But it doesn't feel that way.
You wake up every morning and brush the hair out of their face. They open their eyes for a second and look at you in a way that the English language -- or any language -- can't describe. You feel their energy, their love, their happiness and they feel yours. You and your partner fall in love every moment of every day you spend together.
And you love it. Even if it means you have to constantly answer questions from family, friends, and the rest of society.