I think dating/deciding to marry is something like deciding to buy a house and make it your home. . . . [Y]ou will see many houses, and most of them will have some aspect of what you want. One will have the gorgeous bay windows and gleaming hardwood floors. Another will have the giant kitchen with the granite countertops. A third will have a turret and built-in shelves. . . . You can see yourself living in all of them. But the day comes when you decide that one house is the one you're going to buy. You move in. You clean. You do a bit of painting. You learn to live with the slight incline in the floors and to jump the creaky step in the staircase. You have dinner parties that last until 2am in this house. You host holidays in this house. You bring your babies back to this house. You could've had any of the houses you looked at, all those years ago. But you chose this one and it's now the only home you can imagine having.
I think this metaphor is so lovely; I wish I had thought of it. You choose to marry someone because you love them. But the very act of choosing, and everything that follows from that choice, helps you to love that person forever, creaky steps and all.