Love is work. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something — or, perhaps, themselves. The truth is, relationships — like life — are messy. At times, it will seem as if you and your significant other are on top of the world, fated to be together. At other times, you may question why you are with them at all.

Credit: Amanda Oleander

The secret to a lasting relationship or marriage is that both parties have to be committed. Where there is a commitment, there is potential for a lasting union. That means that even when it gets tough — or the “realness” of being human pervades the relationship, you and your lover have to put in the work.

An individual who knows this to be true is Amanda Oleander. The Los Angeles-based artist is in a committed relationship herself and is infatuated with the ways people act behind closed doors. To satiate this curiosity, she illustrates the little ways people show their love in long-term relationships.

Credit: Amanda Oleander

As Bored Panda reports, Oleander is presently dating Joey Rudman. She said,

”[He] ends up drawn in most of my drawings. We have been together for almost 3 years. He’s the sweetest man I’ve ever met.”

She describes their bond as “magic.”

“Before I met Joey if anyone told me their love and relationship was like ours I wouldn’t believe it. It’s nothing less than amazing. We can’t get enough of each other. I’m enthralled by the way people behave behind closed doors, intimate moments we never get to see. Those are moments that can’t really be documented because if they were, it would alter the way the person behaved. So I draw them.”

Each of her drawings is inspired by a different concept. “I do wish that viewers take with them a sense of confidence and appreciation for the simple moments in life,” said Oleander.

Following are 25+ of her eye-opening illustrations:

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h/t Bored Panda