I have great news for all my readers. At this point in time, I am single. More than that, I am extremely happy with my singleness. I do, however, have many friends that are not single, and that’s great. I also have friends that are single, and happy also, and that’s great too.
What’s not so great are my single friends that are unhappy because they’re alone. Amongst them, I noticed a recurring theme: they want the perfect love.
I always tell them the same thing: “Dude, you watch too much TV. Real love isn’t like that.”
The movies are all the same: boy meets girl, they fall in love. There is turmoil, then a happy ending with a kiss, and it’s the most electric kiss in the world. Wow! What a beautiful story! Amazing! Man, I wish I could fall in love like that, I wish that would happen to me.
I have bad news for you friend: it won’t.
Or rather, it will happen to you, but it won’t be love. It’ll be lust, or some derivative thereof. It’ll be happy chemicals in your brain telling you that you want to fuck this person in front of you until you can’t walk. It’ll be insane thoughts of spending every waking moment with the someone that, in all probability, you’ll have broken up with within a year.
Welcome to the real world! It’s not a Hollywood movie!
So I have a friend that is an amazing human being. He is intelligent, positive, hard-working, and just an all-around excellent guy. He has one major problem though: he’s a hopeless romantic, and it’s getting in the way of his love life.
“But Rami,” you say, “surely that’s not a bad thing? The world could use more romantic men.”
“Sort of,” I reply, “but the romance needs to be based on reality, and not your favorite scene from The Notebook.”
Being influenced by too many movies means we all have unrealistic expectations of reality when it comes to love (and explosions, but that’s another story). We expect Love, with a capital L, to fall into our laps. We expect perfection in every aspect of our partner. We even expect the way our first meeting unfolds to be perfect, and natural. I keep hearing the same old clichés like “you’ll know when you meet the one“, or “if you look for it you won’t find it”. Bullshit. That’s laziness, fear, and too much TV talking.
Think about it: the last time you fell in love, were you friends with that person for 12 years beforehand, then one day realized how much they meant to you, before finally kissing them and walking off into the sunset? Probably not.
In the real world, love is much more fucked up. You meet someone, you hang out, you make out, you have sex. Things progress slowly, with your lives becoming more and more intertwined. Maybe you begin to share friends, you move in together, you split the cost of furniture. Eventually, roughly two to three years in, the happy chemicals in your brain that have been telling you you’re madly in love with this person fade.
Now your judgment is clear. Your partner’s habits start to bother you. You work through the problems, and compromise, and start really putting an effort in. Your relationship is more difficult, but it’s also more rewarding. You start to experience a rebirth, a deeper connection, one that is based on trust, communication, commitment, not just on some crazy infatuation that you originally had. You make a conscious choice to stay with this person, because the chemical haze is gone, but the amazing feeling you once experienced is real. Guess what? Real love is messy, and you’ve just had some.
What the hell am I saying?
I’m saying that real love is a choice. I don’t believe in this “falling in love” business. In my book, you fall in lust. You get infatuated. You experience the other person physically, emotionally, intellectually. You get to know them. Eventually, you choose to be with them, to love them, to give to them.
To quote Erich Fromm, you don’t “fall in love”, you “stand in love”.
So to all my single, pining, romantic friends out there, stop that shit. Give the imperfect guy or girl you’ve been hanging out with a chance, maybe a kiss, and see where it leads. You can decide if you love them later on.
How do you feel about love? About perfection in your partner? Let me know! Think everything I’ve just spouted is total bullshit? Fight me for it! Leave a comment and harass me!