Chicago in the winter is a reminder that love, for all its heart-pounding, soul-stirring, head-spinning magic, also requires some suffering. Anyone can relish the lakefront path in the summer. The breeze! The beaches! The joyful packs of fellow joggers! The dudes bumping Morgan Wallen’s “Sunrise” at … sunrise! It takes commitment to love it when the temperature is 7 and the wind is whipping off the water and straight through your fleece-lined leggings. But boy, does Chicago repay your loyalty: The way the lake freezes not as a solid sheet, but as giant chunks of floating ice that pattern like a shattered windshield. The way the icicles hang from the piers, forming a kind of reverse skyline. The occasional only-in-Chicago characters like the shirtless guy doing calisthenics near Oak Street Beach. The way your feet sound pounding the salty pavement against an eerie quiet you’d never experience in June. The way the sun hits the lake as if to say, “I’m still here. So are you. We’ve got this.” That’s true love.