Gosh, I forget how difficult relationships are.
The internet tells you that finding the right person will be easy, that relationships should be perfect and hassle free, that you’ll feel The Spark and see the fireworks – if it’s with your soulmate. The pressure that this society creates means you’re likely to feel overwhelmed and underloved if you’re not laughing, writing poetry and having sex at all moments of the day.
“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Brontë
The days of school based childhood sweethearts are out the window. No longer is it a kiss and a cuddle at lunch time and a social life that revolved around how much homework you had. In the real world, it takes some serious effort. Two strange people from two different lives thrust together (if they’re lucky) and sent into the world of love. No wonder we fail at it so regularly.
The difficulties comes from how new it all is. Going from complete strangers to spending most of your free time together requires a lot of ground work, learning, and understanding.
“Our mental synchronisation, can have but one explanation.” – those cool cats from Frozen
Learning how one another ticks and what makes up their personality is, although petrifying and scary and difficult, the beauty that comes with the ‘honeymoon period’ of relationships. Listening to stories from their past, goals for their future, likes and dislikes and all the mannerisms that make them ‘them’ is a beautiful thing to experience, and is the reason why young love is so idolised and enjoyed, even envied within the dating world. There’s simply nothing I enjoy more than spending whole evenings merely sitting and listening to a loved one talk about their inner self. Going out for dates, drinking fancy wine, experiencing a range of cuisines – falling in love with the real life person in front of you is a wonderful experience that, thanks to the world of online dating, is becoming less and less common.
“New love is so beautiful – it’s only time that makes it ugly.”
I’ve always been an advocate of letting love sort itself out, living in the optimistic world of bumping into destiny as you go about your everyday life. Regrettably, this isn’t aways the case, and I’m all in favour of people using a little extra helping hand in the digital love fest. Yet logging onto a website and reading a few short paragraphs about someone simply doesn’t compare to their real life personality. A carefully drafted About Me, featuring minimal and selected insights into their lives cannot compare to getting drunk and talking about everything you love and hate. All these personal traits are things that could never have been described via the likes of Tinder. Social media also adds infinite problems as you work your way through love, with unread texts, misconstrued messages and the infinitely long wait that comes with that one desired reply.
“The best sign of a healthy relationship is no sign of it on Facebook.”
What about the untold dramas from your past? Any crazy exs that have left hidden scars and trauma? How about underlying issues from long lost love that ooze into your new relationship creating subconscious barriers all along the path? Finding photos of exs across Facebook, hearing anecdotes about past relationships, even, if you’re unlucky enough, bumping into old flames in the street and enduring the worlds most awkward three way chat – all these are gonna add bumps in the path, especially when you find out your previous competitors include the runner up of Britain’s Next Top Model. Tough competition, whoever you are.
“The best way to love is to live like you’ve never been hurt.”
There’s also the ongoing efforts to try and impress one another. As time goes on, you realise what Pros and Cons your other half is subconsciously forming for you, as they reveal their ‘ideal traits’ of a partner and you find your desperate need to meet up to it. First impressions are often totally wrong – the initial portray one gives on a first date is normally an exaggerated and fantastical version of themselves that, as time goes on, you realise doesn’t quite live up to their real life persona. Worrying the inner depths of the ‘real you’ is gonna be too much, it makes it tricky to fully open up at the fear of scaring them away – if they leave after the first date, not much is lost. A few months down the line and there’s a lot more left to lose.
“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”
The worst trigger of all, that slowly creeps its way into your blossoming relationship, are the expectations. This is rarely a big romantic proposal – unless you’ve made the rookie mistake of listening to their ‘No I don’t want anything big’ birthday requests – but perhaps a good morning text or an I Love You before they go to bed. Silly things that your delicate and vulnerable little brain plays over, picking apart and analysing for infinitely stupid reasons which, of course, creates unnecessary dramas. This goes for the men as well – lacking in the female approach of empathy and subtextual analysis, guys have a tendency to hear and respond, with very little thought or tact going into either the call or response. You want and expect it to be perfect all the time, and so when it isn’t, the fact you’re feeling sad is normally more upsetting than the initial overreaction.
“There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations”
Sometimes, regrettably, it doesn’t work out. Sometimes, it’s perhaps just not worth it. And that’s fine too – you’re just one step closer to finding your real ‘soulmate’, finding someone who’ll love every part of you, finding The One.
But, of course, if it’s right, if you fall for their whole soul rather than the basic level complications, if they’re the right person – and I honestly hope for all devoted souls reading this, that they really are – it’ll all be worth it, and it’s all just steps towards becoming the best couple you can be. After all, Love Conquers All, Where there is Love there is Life, Love Will Find A Way, … Ultimately, I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.
“Being in a couple is hard. And committing, making sacrifices; it’s hard. But if it’s the right person, then it’s easy. Looking at that girl and knowing she’s all you really want out of life, that should be the easiest thing in the world.” – How I Met Your Mother