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  • Ingrid Ullrich

Relationships Now vs Then

My grandparents were married for sixety-two years before my grandfather passed away to Parkinson’s. Ever since his passing, my grandmother has never been the same. She says, “Ingrid, I miss him so much. He was the love of my life.” Since the age of fourteen-years old, their days were spent together. Can you believe that? Fourteen Years Old. Incredible. She told me he used to ride past her house on his bicycle and she would tell her mom from watching him out the window, “I’m going to marry that boy, Mama.” Now, if anyone has ever met my grandmother, you know that the moment she said something, she meant it. Married at seventeen-years old, having three children, and running a business together day in and day out. Oh, she meant it alright.


Fast forward today. How do we meet people? Majority will tell you online or through a dating app. Swiping through photos, looking at six-word bios, and stalking the shit out of a profile is how we determine whether or not we are interested in someone. Believe me, I am not in any way judging. It is just how we do things today. Hell, I met my boyfriend online. He is European. Yes, I wish I could say we really met as I was sailing through Venice on a Gondola and just as I was floating underneath a bridge, this sexy ass Spaniard jumped into the water, climbed into my boat, started kissing me passionately, and I was forever ruined for the rest of mankind…


Yes, now vs then in the dating world is as Black and White as it can get. Back then, there was no easy access at our fingertips. If you liked someone, they were more than likely from the city you lived in, went to your school, lived down the street from you, etc. And in order to ask someone out, you had to use your rotary dial phone as you found yourself tangled in ten feet of curly wire by the end of your call. In other words, there was more “love labor” put into the pursuit. Every step was active, and never passive. Because after all, the word love is an active verb, something that so many of us tend to forget with this World of Technology we live in.


Today, Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. That is absolutely disheartening. Why is it so high? When I asked my grandmother how her and my grandfather were married for so long, she smiled, “Honey, when something was broke, we fixed it, and if we couldn’t fix it, we worked on it. Your grandfather and I gave 100/100 at all times.” Meaning, you couldn’t just run away and start posting cliché heartbreak quotes and cry for attention selfies when you weren’t happy with your partner. You couldn’t Like photos of the opposite gender in moments of temptation to see if they will respond back or Direct Message You. It just didn’t exist. You faced every issue head on. You sat down and listened to your partner and figured out what you could do, together, to take care of each other. To make things better. Afterall, love should be a constant growing. I think of it as a garden. Plants need nutrients from the light, the soil, and most importantly, the water. If you fail to water your garden, all the plants will die. Don’t let your garden die.

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