There is an interesting point between being "in love" and "loving." Many relationships (of mine too) are a very self-centered "in love". I wanted the relationship For Me: to make ME feel good. Then there are the rare few exceptions, when I've passed through being "in love" to "loving" - to wanting to see that other person happy, to being willing to (sometimes) sacrifice a small bit of my own happieness to help the other person be happier. This is the point at which what would have been previously thought of as sacrifice becomes not-work, becomes the easy thing to do. That boundary snuck up on my recently. I'd been having glimpses of it for a while, but a couple of things happened recently to show me that yes, indeed, I no longer maintain this relationship in a state of need for myself, but in a state of compassion for my partner. "I love you" is no longer "I need you to acknowledge my importance" and is now "how can I help your life be better?" The wierd thing is that I don't know when I changed. Some of the change is probably a product of me being happier and less stressed, but I know that's not all of it. Thank you, sweetie, for loving me long enough and well enough for me to find this place for us.