They say you should find someone you will laugh with forever.

And that’s true, I think. But at some point, the laughter stops. There’s a break in between jokes when life hits.

And you’re left with silence.

While you’re finding someone who will laugh with you, make sure they can sit in silence, too.

Make sure they don’t just applaud your performance—but they stick around when the curtain closes and the house is empty.

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The ultimate test of a relationship isn’t laughter. I know I can giggle with just about anyone.

But there are very few who I can sit with in silence and it not be uncomfortable.

I can share a laugh with a stranger, but when it all hits the fan, I need a landing spot for a heavy heart and a tired body.

I don’t want to feel like I’m inconveniencing anyone by not being constantly happy. I won’t always be laughing.

Sometimes I don’t need “cheering up.” Sometimes I just need understanding.

Sometimes I just need someone to sit in silence with me.

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I’ve been on my fair share of awkward dates, pressured to fill the gaps in conversation with something, ANYTHING.

But the truth is—there’s not always laughter in growing pains.

There’s not always laughter in the middle of heartache.

There’s not always laughter in our wrestle with faith.

If someone is around long enough—they’ll witness a low point, they’ll witness your ugly and your hard and your silence.

And what happens then when things aren’t as happy?

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I love to laugh and enjoy life and be happy but nothing changed my life quite like finding someone who will sit in my silence with me.

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Originally published on the author’s Facebook

Whitney Ballard

Whitney Ballard is a writer and mom advocate from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, where she writes about motherhood, marriage, mental health, and more. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holing a Master’s degree; she writes about that journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens. When she’s not writing while on her porch swing or cheering/yelling at the ballpark, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.