We get a bad rap for being entitled, egotistical, needy beings – and yah, all of that is true. We grew up being told that we could do anything if we set our minds to it, and that we were perfect just the way we were. But that’s not true at all. No matter how hard I set my mind to it, I will never be a blue jay, and I have some questionable traits, that could really use some modification. I’m a lump of clay that needs continuous reforming, and I’m comfortable in the fact that I will never be “perfect just the way I am”. We are humans, and humans need to change – it’s in our framework.
Change is a Great Thing
Change is a great thing, that is true – but isn’t it also true that maybe we romanticize the idea of change a tad too much? Every year, thousands of high school graduates flee to other countries for a gap year, and a change of scenery. We cut off all of our hair after a breakup because “change is a good thing”. If we feel like we’re in a rut, and our relationship is exhausting, we feel like the relationship must be “toxic” and seek a new life without our partners. We’ve been programmed to believe that change is our friend and while it is crucial to a happy life, some things are allowed to remain the same. Relationships are one of these things.
After reading Aziz Ansari’s book (Modern Romance) and compiling his ideas with my own personal experiences, I’ve come to a conclusion: My generation sucks at “sticking it out”. We’ve been brainwashed to believe that the grass may actually be greener on the other side, and that love is just supposed to make sense. NEWS FLASH – Nothing about love makes sense. You want to know the truth about love?
Some days are going to be crap. Absolute and total crap. You may want to scream at your partner. You may need to take a second to breathe and be alone. You may need to have difficult conversations. You may – no, you will – have rough patches, but you don’t need to give up on your relationship because of it.
I talked to several people I know that have been married 20+ years and found out that a lot of them aren’t in love anymore. At first, this sounded incredibly sad to me, but then I realized something important. Love changes over time. One of the people I talked to told me that they didn’t think they were in love with their partner anymore, but they definitely loved them with all of their heart. They loved everything that their partner had done for them and their family – and knew that they wanted to spend the rest of their life with this person, because they grew to be best friends. They weren’t in love anymore, but they couldn’t dream of being without one another and I think that’s beautiful. Love changes, and just because it changes doesn’t mean it’s over.
You Will Always Be Frustrated With Your Partner
I think we have a tendency to back out when things get hard. We think that someone’s flaws are going to make our lives with them impossible. But here’s the deal – Just because he leaves his dishes all over the place and you don’t want to spend the rest of your life cleaning them up, doesn’t mean you can’t be together. “Oh, but I’m going to spend the rest of my life being so frustrated with this, and I don’t want to feel like this forever”. Well, I don’t care who you are or who you are choosing to spend your life with – I promise you, they will have something(s) they do that frustrate you beyond belief. Literally, no matter who you are dating, they are going to do frustrating things and if you think “this relationship isn’t going to work” every time somebody frustrates you, you’re going to be alone forever, friend.
My boyfriend is unbelievably frustrating at times, but oh my goodness, I love the absolute crap out of him. He teases me, and leaves empty pop cans around the house, and tickles me, and sticks his tongue out when I go in for a kiss – he annoys me, but I’d rather be annoyed by him than be with anybody else, 100 times over.
Relationships Are Hard Work
Life isn’t like those crappy romantic comedies you binge watch over a heaping bowl of popcorn, okay? Relationships are hard, and they will always be hard. You will never be in a long-term relationship where you aren’t sometimes frustrated or annoyed – you just need to make sure that you are with someone that you want to spend the rest of your life being annoyed by.
2018 is on the horizon, and if you are still single and can’t figure out why – consider this: Maybe it really is you.
Harsh? Well, maybe it’s what you need to hear. You need to lower your standards – and don’t get it twisted, I never want you to settle for somebody that doesn’t light your heart on fire. I want you to feel on top of the world in your relationship. Never stay with somebody who challenges your value, because darling, you are worth all the sun and the stars. BUT – you need to be realistic. We are humans, and humans are painfully flawed creatures. We don’t know what we are doing, or how to survive. Life is a dance; a clumsy, poorly choreographed dance, and we are changing the moves constantly. We are bumping into each other, getting frustrated and falling all over the place. We’re just trying to figure it out, and figuring it out with somebody else makes it a little bit easier on our poor foolish hearts. But nevertheless, we have our issues.
Don’t leave a good relationship because of frustrations, because I promise you that if you continue to do so, you will find yourself at 70 years old, alone, with nobody to be frustrated with but yourself.
And don’t lose your faith in love.