No disrespect, but whoever said, “If it is meant to be, it will be” was a self-righteous moron. Okay, so maybe there’s a bit of disrespect intended there, but I mean, think about it. We would never use this halfhearted justification for anything else in life: “Honey, if we are meant to pay the electric bill this month, we will win the lottery.” See? It’s an impractical and unrealistic sentiment at best; so why do we promote it so fervently when it comes to something as important as love and relationships?
I postulate two reasons:
1) It’s an easy out for us when times get tough. I mean, why exert actual energy into your relationship to find tangible solutions when you can just surrender your struggles to serendipity? 60 percent of the time, serendipity has let you down every time, but who’s counting? Maybe she’ll have your back this time.
2) It allows for a complete evasion of accountability. Hey, who’s got the time to acknowledge their flaws and confess their mistakes? Not me! You want to have an intimate heart-to-heart that could help us better ourselves and our relationship? How about just chalking it up to fate and calling it a day instead?
Now, I’m not discounting the plausibility that two people who were once in love can grow apart. I’ve seen it happen countless times, and in fact, I’ve experienced it myself. Sometimes feelings fade without explanation, and regardless of how many times you attempt to resurrect them, the love is hopelessly and inexplicably lifeless. It’s a bitter breakup pill to swallow, but feelings of love cannot be faked or forced. When the reciprocity of love runs out and happiness gives way to heartache, it’s time to let go and move on. No additional clarification needed.
All too often, however, we rely too heavily on this excuse. We refuse to take ownership for our own shortcomings, and instead render everything and everyone else culpable. Irreconcilable differences? Eh, unlikely. It’s not you, it’s me? Meaning, it really is me. Hurtful message received. If it was meant to be, we would still be together? Ugh, gag me. There are very few differences that are utterly irreconcilable, and fate is not your personal genie or reliable best friend.
The uncensored truth of the matter is this: We are lazy and we are stubborn. We want everything in life to be effortless. From our food ordering, to our TV watching, to our online banking, to our relationships — we want it uncomplicated and undemanding. Unfortunately, however, the game of love is neither. It requires immense compromise, flexibility, and forgiveness from both parties, which often necessitates more time and effort than we find ourselves willing to expend.
Okay, that’s cool. Have fun being single forever.
The bottom line is simply this: We cannot equate love with, “If it is meant to be, it will be.” It may sound sentimental when we read it in a Nicholas Sparks novel, but it’s really nothing more than a fanciful coping mechanism we illogically employ to distract ourselves from the truth: That love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice. Love is perpetual give and take. Love is learning to put someone else’s needs and desires above your own: selflessly and willingly. Love is admitting that you’re wrong; you screwed up, but that you endeavor to make it work because in your heart you know that love is also unfailingly rewarding, patient, kind, and true.
Love is unconditional.
Love is worth fighting for, always.