I don’t know much about love. In fact, I don’t really know much about dating and relationships. Since I’m young and still have my maiden name, I have neither married nor divorced someone. Like the average, introverted, shy girl, I’m not what that one college frat boy at that one party would call “experienced.”
To be perfectly honest, I only know what I see on TV and movies. In fact, up until I was 15, I thought that grand gestures, big diamond rings, and three dozen roses were the way to tell someone you loved them. I daydreamed of the day where my first kiss will be with a guy who saw me even when I was invisible (and yes, in my daydream, my foot popped). When I was a kid, I thought the perfect first date would be a fancy restaurant and a string quartet to match. After moments of pure bliss, I will probably feel like I found my soul mate, and he’ll feel it too and propose with a boulder-sized ring with a white gold band to match. Then we’ll have a big wedding and have babies and live happily ever after in perfect harmony.
I’d hate to point fingers, but I can’t help but blame the harsh reality of life for tainting my idealistic view on how love was supposed to work.
I quickly learned that grand gestures and everything romantic comedies were made for was a lie. Your “perfect soul mate” will measure his love for you by your bra size. I quickly discovered how much I hated fancy restaurants; even if I did like them, there is no string quartet, unless you want to pay extra along with the hundreds of dollars you’ve already spent on your meal.
Everything after the grand wedding unfolds a chapter of life where there’s no such thing as “perfect harmony” and nothing really seems to last forever.
That “perfect harmony” image was shattered when I realized that couples fight. They don’t argue, because arguments are more diplomatic. When couples fight, they take minuscule things and blow it out of proportion. They fight about what color the curtains in the living room should be or who should’ve won American Idol or The Voice or whatever singing competition seems to be popular now. There are times when they’ll fight about big things, like finances or wasted job opportunities. When every fight keeps getting heavier and uglier, they’ll eventually start to question whether or not they made the right decision in marrying or being with that person. That’s where resentment and regret come in, and they’ll start to think about how much time they’ve taken away from their lives by being with a person so toxic to them.
In my life, I’ve seen so many failed relationships and failed marriages that I’ve become jaded. I’m so afraid of giving up on my relationship because of my fear of confrontation or commitment. I started thinking like Jeff Winger from Community who (drunkenly) said this at his friend Shirley’s wedding rehearsal:
My daddy said he’d stay with my mommy forever, and he left! Marriage is a lie! Nobody commits to this! Nobody stays with anybody forever, so why do we keep lying?
I don’t really feel this way so much anymore, because I realized that throughout the negative, I overlooked the positive.
When I think of a successful marriage, I think of one couple who have been married for 28 years and another couple who have been married for 18 years. I look at these couples and saw one thing they have in common: through every fight, small or big, they always chose each other in the end. Throughout every fight; every change; every obstacle; every beginning, middle, and end, they chose each other. When it got too hard to handle, they never gave up, because once upon a time, they chose each other, and when they remembered that feeling, they never regretted it.
So to the couple who is currently giving each other the silent treatment; to the wife who is giving her husband the cold shoulder while he is on his knees begging for her forgiveness; if I had to give you any kind of advice or message, it would be this: use that silent treatment to let go of your pride and try to imagine a life without each other. After that, feel free to slap yourself for letting something small or big get in the way of being happy with your significant other. Finally, you can choose that person, just like you chose him or her all that time ago.
Whenever a fight takes over, just try to remember how lucky you are. You found your mate, the person you’ve been dreaming of your whole life. Many people in their 30s who are currently attending their local bar’s singles night would kill to be in your position right now. There are widows who wished that their spouses were still living on earth. There are people whose spouses are on the verge of death. Meanwhile yours is alive and healthy. Your significant other provides you with an unconditional love that you can’t find every day.
Prove every cynic wrong. Prove that throughout every hardship and temptation, you’ll always choose each other in the end.
Because once upon a time, you chose each other, and much like the two couples I admire, you’ll continually choose each other until death do you part.