Before I start, I’ll admit that I may be feeling a little bitter as I write this. I’ll also admit that “a little” may be an understatement. But I do believe that nowadays we live in a world where love and relationships are so over hyped that it would be impossible to achieve the supposed ideal.
1. True love lasts forever
No. I don’t buy it for a second. Yes, you may see couples who have been together their whole lives. Sometimes even first lovers who have never been with anyone else. But I don’t for a second believe that they never have their moments of doubt and despair. In my opinion it would be impossible for two people to always feel love for one another. I’m sure even the most “perfect” couple has times when they just want to murder each other in a spectacularly violent fashion.
2. Soul mates
Nothing short of drinking too much tickles my gag reflex like the phrase ‘so-and-so and I are SOUL MATES!’. Really? Another one is ‘we finish eachother’s sentences’. Ugh! The world is a big place, and people vary so much in tastes, character, outlook, that I simply cannot believe that there is this one person out there who matches me perfectly. The best we can hope for is some overlap to make every day life run smoothly. Maybe some shared interests and similar religious background (or lack thereof), just so you don’t fight every time you settle down to watch some TV, or discuss current affairs. But the world is simply too diverse for two people to be exactly the same. And if that was the case, it would be incredibly boring also. Which leads me onto my next point;
3. Happy couples should do EVERYTHING together
Oh god no! If you’ve found someone you enjoy spending time with, don’t go and ruin it by spending every waking moment with them. Doing everything with them, involving them in every one of your tedious daily affairs. When I was young, much like everyone else, I had received my fill of ‘they lived happily ever after’ fairytale brainwashing. Therefore I never used to understand when my mother advised; ‘You know it’s good for couples to have different jobs. What would they talk about if they already spent all day together at work?’ It may have sounded unromantic to the young me, but it’s true. Nothing gets boring quicker in a relationship than not having your own identity.
4. You never keep secrets from your partner
Judge as some of you may, I think there are good reasons to keep secrets. It might be too presumptuous of me to assume that a lot of people have deep, dark thoughts and fantasies that they fear nobody else might understand. But it certainly can be the case. Not telling your partner, doesn’t mean you don’t love them. Also not every fantasy is meant to be acted out, some are much safer locked away in the depths of your mind where they cannot hurt anyone, especially your other half. While it’s relatively easy to give your body and your heart to someone, giving every one of your thoughts is in an entirely different league. Not everyone can hope to achieve this ideal, so there is no reason to feel bad about it.
5. When you love each other, you’ll never look at anyone else, think about anyone else, do anyone else
Wouldn’t it be nice, to be such a selfless and pure person. Never plagued by curiosity about what it might be like, on the other side of the fence. Fine, during the honeymoon period when your hormones are going wild for the other person, perhaps you won’t glance at the attractive waitress at the restaurant. Or appreciate the perfect physique of the barista serving up your morning cappuccino. But as time passes, so does that insane obsession with your other half. Love may make you blind, while you’re newly in love. But sooner or later, your eyes are wide open. And personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with looking around, watching porn, having horny thoughts or dreams about others. Depending on your own moral compass and any agreements between you and your partner, it might even be ok to act on such feelings.
In my opinion, true love is being able to accept that the other person isn’t perfect, isn’t all you’ve ever wanted, but they’re yours and that’s enough (mostly). And no matter how much you want to clobber them over the head with a cricket bat every so often. Once you’ve calmed down, you return to them and retain the ability to make each other smile.