"The lesson: Love is a choice. Once the lust, passion, excitement and obsession fade, you are left with sober, boring, calm, reasonable love. But most people don't understand; that's what REAL, true, honest love feels like. I know it sounds grim, but those other feelings always fade. Always. If you expect those feelings to last, you will jump from one relationship to the next without ever knowing true, hard-earned love. Once the passion fades, love becomes a choice. It's hard work to maintain, but it's up to you to keep the flame alive, to bring back the passion, remember why you fell in love and try to live every day like it's the first date. You have to grow with it, be willing to change with it. And the results are subtle; not as flashy as a new, sexy mate. What you get is a family. A partner. A life. Something to build, nurture, and be proud of. Someone who loves you unconditionally."
It might be weird to quote myself, but sometimes the lessons of the past are worth remembering. Over and over and over. I learned this lesson in a really hard, emotionally traumatizing place (original post here) but the lesson was strong and continues to be true. This is still the kind of love I believe in and want for myself.