I love movies, old and new, and I’m a sucker for a sappy love story. Recently I re-watched “Love Story” — wow, it has been awhile. I first saw the movie as a teenager, and I imagine my young self tearfully absorbing the movie while giving silent validation to the never-before-spoken phrase, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Shortly after the 1970 movie came out psychologists, clergy, and the like weighed in on that oft repeated line and declared it nonsense. Of course it would be lovely to never commit an offense against our beloveds, but here on earth where relationships can be prickly, such perfection is highly unlikely.
Forty-five years later, I remember the line, and I remember the backlash, and I remind myself of what is true. Real love, sacrificial love, means having to say you are sorry day after day, time after time. Love is a verb – it’s something we do, not just something we experience. Love means saying “I messed up, forgive me, I’ll keep trying, I’ll do better.” And real love replies, “Me too, I forgive you, I’m sorry for my part, yes, let’s try harder.”
Today I am grateful for the apologies in my life, delivered (to me and by me) with sincerity and humility. I am grateful for forgiveness that has been extended (to me and by me) to and from the ones I love. Sappy love stories are fun, but real love stories deliver the true happy endings.