Love should be unconditional: I see you, flaws and foibles and messy parts included and I love and accept how you are today, not at some future point when you are wholly pleasing to me.
Partnership should not: there need to be agreements and plans and compromises in place that benefit the whole in a way that leaves no one “behind”.
Unselfish love is not love that gives up on itself in favor of another; unselfish love is two people 100% committed to the highest and greatest good of each other, NO MATTER WHAT THAT MEANS. Even if it means your partner is not always available to you. Even if it means ultimately, you go your separate ways.
True love, at the end of the day, is all about freedom. Freedom to pursue your highest and greatest good with someone at your side cheering you on all the way. True love is the highest art form utilized by humanity.
You can have a solid partnership without love; you can have love with someone incompatible for partnership. But when you have both, THAT is magic, in spite of bills, taxes and property management. When you have both, you can be one of the lucky few who actually enjoys a “happily ever after.”
“Happily ever after” is two people who laugh at petty annoyances, work together to make the daily grind as smooth as possible and support each other completely in heartbreak and grief. “Happily ever after” is two whole, complete people who accept the other “as is”. “Happily ever after” is a job, but the benefits are absolutely awesome.