“Watch how he treats you when Instagram isn’t looking.” This advice from Amy Midtvedt of Hiding in the Closet with Coffee is gold. In this digital age of social media filters, it’s hard to know what’s real anymore. You might see a “happy couple” taking exotic vacations and lavishing each other with gifts online and think Why can’t I have that? But the truth is, real love doesn’t necessarily show in those Facebook and Instagram posts. After 25 years together, Amy and her husband Todd know a thing or two about real, authentic love.

As shared a recent Facebook post on Her View From Home, Amy (a mom of 5 from Appleton, WI) calls her husband of 19 years her “knight in shining armor.” She was at the grocery store and had misplaced her wallet. Now, she was stuck with a full cart and no way to pay, so her husband left work to help. And Amy says, “This is what love looks like.”

Other things that “love looks like” according to Amy?

“Love also looks like me coming downstairs to a full pot of coffee every morning because coffee is love,” her post reads. “Love looks like a super patient dad doing the 5 year old’s homework with him every morning so I can get to work on time.”

Amy also tells Her View From Home that parenting brings out the true heart and character of a person. “Those of us in the trenches with kids that have learned to appreciate a husband who gets up with a vomiting kid so you can sleep. We feel the love in those little things,” she says. 

And it’s important to her that the dads get some credit. “So many times dads get pointed to as being unhelpful or that they don’t know what’s going on. In reality so many of them are right in there with their wives making the magic happen. It’s always refreshing to find the joy!” YES! The world is full of dedicated, hands-on dads who deserve recognition for their pivotal role in parenting. 

This Is What Love Looks Like www.herviewfromhome.com

Amy also shares in her post what love looked like back in the day, well before kids. Because she saw it then too. “In college this love looked like boyfriend Todd running to the store for a danish I was craving or watching me and my friends on the dance floor long after he wanted to leave the bar or him being known across campus by the flower backpack he was carrying, which of course was mine.”

This Is What Love Looks Like www.herviewfromhome.com

When asked how she and Todd keep the spark of their marriage going, especially when life gets in the way, Amy says that they just make sure to be kind to one another. “Regular date nights and times away are just not realistic for 2 working parents with 5 kids, Amy tells HVFH. “But we can watch Netflix together after the kids go to bed with snacks and wine. Or stop for a quick hug in the kitchen. We text throughout the day, I get a heart emoji at least once a day randomly. Or we send emails about things the other might find interesting. It’s really all little things for us right now in this season of life. But not a day goes by when we don’t do something for the other person that is loving to us…even if it’s just taking out the trash or making the coffee. Love is so in the little things.”

Wow. That is the gold standard right there.

So listen up, young people. Amy has some advice for you. Don’t always turn to social media for an example of real, true love. Don’t judge someone’s love by how flashy his promposal is. The guy who will carry your flowered backpack for you is the guy who will show up in Aldi’s 20 years later to pay for the groceries. That’s what you should look for when choosing a person to hold your heart.

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is a freelance writer who is known on social media as The 21st Century SAHM. She is an assistant editor at Sammiches and Psych Meds, staff writer and social media manager for Scary Mommy, and is the author of I Brushed My Hair Today, A Mom Journal for Mostly Together Moms. Follow Karen on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/21stcenturysahm/, Twitter https://twitter.com/21stcenturysahm , and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/the21stcenturysahm/