This is the way love should be. (And is.) Disney's Oscar Nominated short film, 'Paperman.'

Ten years ago today, Jonathan told me he loved me for the first time. It felt like a big deal then, on a beach in Sausalito, California. He'd just trounced me at Go. My beautiful new board and bowls lay in the sand, his gift to me that Valentine's Day 2003. I pouted. I hated to lose. But it was warm enough that February day to be barefoot on a beach in Northern California, a kind of miracle, so I couldn't be down long. I stood, jammed my fingers into the back pockets of my jeans, and stared out at the surf.

When Jonathan came up behind me to loop his lanky arms around my waist, I snuggled close to him, clasped my hands over his. We'd been together (like... together together) for only a few weeks. But it felt deeper than that already. Perhaps because our first real date had lasted something like twelve hours, and we'd been inseparable since. Perhaps because he was four years older than me and, almost by definition, far more mature than any of the young men I dated before him. Perhaps because we were meant for each other, soul mates, if you believe in that kind of thing.

He'd written it down on a piece of pink paper, a Post-it. I love you. And he pressed it into my hand. It had been in his pocket all morning, those words. They'd been in my heart much longer than that. Just waiting to be set free.

The waves arrived and flattened across the packed, damp sand, then retreated again. Seagulls spun cartwheels in the air. And even though I'd lost the game (oh, I hated to lose), these words held the promise of innumerable games on countless days to come. Plenty of time to win again. Time to learn how little winning matters. Or that, in being together, we will always both win. I threw my arms around his neck. That's love.