I am now beginning to understand the differences between fairytale romance as we are exposed to, and real life love. In real life, the stories do not end with merely the girl and the boy walking away into the sunset hand in hand, after having won their love against all odds.
It goes beyond those small insignificant problems that you might have been used to thus far. It's about how you understand your partner. Whether you look at their feelings as being free of you/independent of you, or whether you look at them from your lens, and only stay fixated on yourself.
It's about expectations - where do you draw a line on what/how much you can expect from them.
It's about whether you recognize and respect your differences for real, accept that you both might be different as light and day, or do you try and colour the other in your colors, expect them to be like you, feel like you, love like you, be like you.
It's about NOT pretending. About having to feel the burden of always being right in the other person's eyes. Of taking that freedom of thought, emotions, actions and feelings for granted, and not feeling OBLIGATED to behave a certain way and act a certain way, afraid to be yourself for the fear of hurting the other.
It's about establishing trust, and not taking its existence for granted. It's about when somebody entrusts you with their confidence and considers you trustworthy enough to be themselves around you, to cherish and value that trust. To acknowledge that the person in front of you is an individual in their own right, and NOT someone you have chosen to merely echo your feelings and thoughts and opinions.
It's about giving as much as taking. When you want someone to be physically and emotionally invested in you, you need to ensure that you make it worth their while.
And more than anything else, it's about understanding that the relationship is worth it all only when you view your partner as an EQUAL, not just in words and on paper or while talking in social circles, but in your mind, actions, opinions and expectations.
Know that what you are, who you are, as an individual, stays. When you accept someone in your life and are willing to make them a permanent part of you, KNOW that you are putting them above all others in your life. But NEVER above yourself. And NEVER beneath yourself. Always an equal.