I grew up listening to John Lennon's lyrics "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be," and dreamed of the day I would meet someone to grow old with.
But dating is rough sometimes, isn't it? Sometimes you fall in love only to have your heart broken. How do you know the man you are with is your sweetheart for keeps? When a man is looking forward to a long-lasting, wrinkly-hand-holding future together, there are certain things he does that a man only looking for a summertime fling doesn't do.
You can know he wants to grow old with you when ...
He is comfortable with silence
Sometimes the ability to happily sit in silence and still be connected is a greater sign of love than needing to fill the silence with small talk.
He wants to run that race with you ... or at least be cheering at the finish line
In five years when you're completing that degree, or finishing the marathon you've always wanted to run, he wants to be there with you, holding your hand. When a man is in it for the long haul, your dreams matter to him.
He doesn't just say sorry, he makes it right
"Sorry" is sometimes only a band-aid on an infected wound. It temporarily stops the bleeding, but doesn't clean the wound. When he's sorry, he doesn't just say it. He makes sure it's alright - or will be eventually.
He uses the right pronouns
"We" has replaced "me" in his vocabulary, because in his mind it's becoming the same thing.
He doesn't worry about dating 'rules' anymore
He doesn't care what friends tell him he should be doing in his relationship - he's just happy to be with you and do whatever it takes to keep your good thing going.
He doesn't make you beg for attention
He spends time with you because he wants to, not because you had to beg him to come.
He looks out for you
In his way, he lets you know you're safe with him. On your hard days he knows what to do to make your life a little bit better.
He doesn't cross the line
Even in arguments, he respects what's most important to you.
He tells you his happy news first
You're the one he wants to confide in most.
He laughs at your jokes
You may not be funny to anyone else, but he has a special smile reserved just for you.
You don't worry about what he says to his friends about you. You know he'll always have your back.
He sees what you can't see in yourself
He knows you can do it, because he sees the beautiful things inside you that you sometimes forget are there.
(Most importantly) He loves you just the way you are
A man who will stay by your side until your last dying breath won't love you any deeper if you drop a dress size, get a better job or learn to sing. He'll take everything about you right now and love you for it.
Amberlee is the content manager for FamilyShare.com and earned a degree in journalism. She creates beautiful things with her experience in writing, graphic design, photography, video and music. She loves her family, the outdoors, baby foxes and podcasts.