December 19, 2009

on the safe & the cozy...

There comes a point in every marriage during which you realize all the newness is officially gone.

You are out of firsts, you begin reading each other's minds and finishing each other's sentences, you have lost any and all mystery you once had, you no longer worry about morning breath or shy away from dressing like scrub on a fairly regular basis. You hang out with a couple who has not yet reached this place and you find yourself becoming wildly paranoid about the state of your own relationship, feeling envious of anyone who is floating along on a cloud of new love.

I'm kind of there. I've actually been there for a while now.

And although I've expressed these feelings before, it's still something that has been on my mind lately. Instead of being grumpy about the state of things, I'm slowly learning to appreciate this stage of love. Although I still struggle with comparing my relationship to those of other people around me, feel slightly wistful at the thought of never having a romantic love affair in Italy, and am resigned to the fact that I'm married to a man who will never want to snuggle while listening to Sara McLachlan...I'm daily reminded of the wonderful things that are so easy overlooked.

For lack of a better description, married life is safe and cozy.

I know, that doesn't sound very sexy. Or thrilling. But, really? It's kind of amazing.

Safe and cozy means I never have to worry about anything being a deal-breaker. I can gain those extra ten pounds, I can throw a small tantrum over something as ridiculous as socks, I can cry during Folgers commercials, I can have a creepy vampire fixation, I can proclaim my love of John Mayer and sleeping for nine hours straight, I can fail at cooking something as basic as chicken breast, I can wear the same jeans for two weeks straight. No matter what, I know that there is nothing I can do that will scare him away or lessen his love for me.

Safe and cozy means that we can irritate each other and still want to cuddle at the end of the night. Which is the best thing of all, if you ask me.

Because they aren't big, romantic gestures, I think that sometimes it's easy to overlook certain things that are a part of my everyday life. I'm one of those people who are easily swept up in the "idea" of things. I'll watch a movie and wonder why my life isn't like that. I'll be around another couple and think that my marriage is less wonderful. I'll wish we had kids already or owned a home or could afford to spoil ourselves on a weekly basis. I'll think of how I'd always dreamed my life would be and end up not giving reality nearly enough credit. It helps to periodically sit down and think of all the things that make my present place in life quite wonderful.

I've been trying my darndest to work on being more grateful for all I have. For all the good things, you know?

And all these good things, they're the things that remind me how happy my life with Jay has become and continues to be. Quite frankly, I can't imagine how life would be without these things. And I'm willing to give up just about anything to make sure they stick around.

(And, yes, I'm so cheesy that you could make a delicious sandwich out of me. Amen.)


  1. i'm 20, not married and i'm usually not fond of the idea of getting married anytime soon.
    but something safe & cozy- now that sounds wonderful.
    you're a lucky girl.
    happy christmas.

  2. Safe and cozy is just fine as long as everyone's needs are being met. :)

    I've been married for 1-1/2 years and I can already see us being there, but we have a lot to look forward to... first house, first kid, first new car (we've only had old, used cars)...first dog, first cat. .. etc.

    Here's to firsts and to safe and cozy. :)

  3. I totally know what you mean. I'll watch a movie and be like, "I wish we had more perfect moments, why don't I feel like that?" And a small freak out ensues, but marriage is a different kind of love. I think it's more like a faith then romance sometimes. Though you don't always feel it, you know it's there.

  4. I think you'll be surprised to find that you will NEVER be out of firsts. You just mentioned that you don't own a home yet, you don't have children have so many wonderful things in your life right now AND so many wonderful things to look forward to! For now, just enjoy the safety and comfort that you have. You're one lucky lady!

    I hope you have a fabulous Christmas!

  5. As a girl who got married at 22 to the boy she had been dating since 10th grade, I can honestly say that I get it.

    Most days I love that I just have to give him a certain look & he knows I need a Diet Dr. Pepper. Other days, when my younger sister goes on these crazy dates and has tons of boy drama, I feel like I'm missing out on something. (Which is ridiculous- I hate boy drama!)

    You're right- it all comes down to being perfectly content where you are today. Good New Year's Resolution, eh? :)

  6. Written perfectly, and my feelings exactly.
    But I do love safe and cozy :)

  7. This... sounds pretty nice, actually. I get swept up in the idea of things, too, and here I am now getting swept up in the idea of cozy & comfortable. Seems pretty far off, for me.

  8. I think safe and cozy is wonderful. Before I got married, I was dating a guy for 10 years and we had gotten to the "safe and cozy" feeling, even though we weren't married, didn't even live together at that time... I like that feeling a lot more than drama!

  9. I'm a newlywed myself, and it's great to hear positive things from someone who is in that second stage of marriage. Most people make it sound so dreadful!

  10. aww this was such a good post. I hope you have him read it :)

  11. That sounds so nice and definitely something I'm looking forward to when I get married. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Andy and I aren't married yet, but after 4.5 yrs together, our relationship definitely feels like this. My reply to this post is one GIANT "ditto"!

    The great thing about finding a relationship like this when you're young is that the two of you, now secure with this knowledge and intimacy, can grow together, and help each other towards new goals and milestones. :)

  13. I can relate to this post - even though Elliott and I aren't married. Dating for three years (and now living together) is definitely grounds for being safe and cozy. Sometimes the lack of "newness" is something I think about, but I love that my boyfriend just...gets me. He knows me very well, and that is something really valuable to me :)

  14. best thing EVER. and described perfectly. there is something magical about not having a deal breaker looming over you. i find it makes me act much more loveably, because i'm not constantly feeling protective/reactive.

  15. I've been with my man for over 6 years. It's true the new-ness is definitely gone, and I might feel a twinge of jealousy at the couple of the corner in a cute kissing session. But you can throws twists and surprises in there too :) Keep things fresh and fun whilst being cozy and safe - because that's not a bad thing to be either ;)

  16. I recently realized that my boyfriend and I have hit that point after two years---it's a good place to be; safe, warm and happy. It's lovely. I'm so glad that you and Jay have that---it's the best. xo

  17. Pete and I aren't married (gasp! living in sin! gasp!) but after living together for more than a year and a half now.... Yes. This. Just yes.

    So beautifully written.

    Happy holidays!

  18. I wanna have something like that when I get married, hopefully to someone I totally love who loves me back and make me his priority :)

    Planning grand gestures are easy but to have that cozy stability? Not so much. You're really lucky :)

  19. I love this post - it's so true. and so rarely stated. Marriage isn't all cuddling on the sofa, it isn't all big romantic gestures and this isn't focused on enough. I think a lot of people feel inadequate in their relationships because of all the focus in films and tv on the whirlwind of romance.
    But safe and cozy sounds peaceful and warm - and I would like to have that someday too.

  20. This is lovely, it's beautiful to appreciate these things and see that magic can be found in things that are safe and familiar. Happy Christmas!

  21. I love your posts on marriage- I think that something that's often overlooked is those people with huge romantic gestures popping up in their relationships all the time, where the stakes are so high and both parties are aware of it all the time?

    The have fights that are just as dramatic as the romantic gestures. They have insecurity and uncertainty at almost every turn. Is it fun and exciting? Sure. Is it gut wrenching and terrifying. Absolutely.

    Dating did not suit me even for a moment. I hated the not knowing what was going on with Mister, not knowing him well enough to be able to tell, not having enough context to follow his family's conversations... now, being on the inside of this & having put in five years of getting to know him my life is so much more stable & full of joy.

    And from that stability, if we want to sell the house and move our love affair to Italy? We totally can.

    Or at least I like to think so ;)

  22. Hahaha, I love your last little sentence. Is is bad that I'm already at the safe and cozy and not even married, yet? Lol!!! Anyways, I love it.

  23. i'm not married right now, but this post was exactly what i needed to read. thanks SO very much for sharing.

  24. my husband and i are recent inductees into the safe and cozy stage. it's a good one....especially right now when my hair hasn't been washed for 3 days and my bangs are looking particularly greasy.

    it's really hard not to compare your relationship to others. i just try to remember that i don't get to see what other couples are like behind closed doors, and everyone's got their issues and not everyone is always romantic. i also try to steer away from romantic chick flicks because they just create these unrealistic expectations for me. i'm pretty sure very few people have romances like the notebook. my husband calls chick flicks girl porn and it's totally's like emotional porn.

    i'm glad that you've been finding things to love about this stage :). having no deal breakers is worth it's weight in tummy butterflies.

    ♥, Lauren.

  25. Safe and cozy is where we are at, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    I used to think that romance = grand gestures, and fancy dinners, and dancing and looking perfect, and expensive gifts.

    But if that's the extent of romance, then everyday married life would be awful! If everyday things can be romantic, than marriage is always wonderful. :)

  26. I'm there, too...and we've only been married a year and a half! (We've lived together less than that!)

    I constantly have to remind myself that we still have things to look forward to: buying a house, him getting out of the military, moving a few more times.

    I guess being safe & cozy isn't so bad, though.

  27. I have feared that stage of marriage...But I think that it is a nice thought... The safety and cozy.... Thanks for giving me something to think more about...

  28. I literally laughed out loud to your 'crying during a folgers a commercial' comment. I just loved this post.

  29. You sent me an email that basically explained all this to me when I was feeling low. In fact, I went back to search for this email just an hour ago because I don't think I ever replied to it and I wanted you to know that even when everything feels low and out of place, it's comforting and cozy! to know that there's one person next to you who has vowed to ALWAYS be next to you. I wanted to thank you for putting that into words in the email you sent me... but now I can't find the email. But I just read this blog post and you know what? THANK YOU.

  30. "end up not giving reality nearly enough credit"

    This is perfect. I need to focus on this.

  31. I absolutely LOVE this post!

  32. Please tell me you cried during the Folgers commercial where the brother comes home & the sister says "You're my Christmas present." because I definitely shed a tear. And if you didn't? Um, just pretend I didn't say anything. :-)

  33. AMEN.

    have I mentioned how much I love you and your writing??

    that is all. :)


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