Is it Time to Get Rid of the “Happily Ever After” Myth and Embrace Romantic Realism?
Disney continues to make movies based around princes and princesses who eventually get married after lots of issues and live happily ever after. The movie always ends with 2 lead characters finding their soulmates who bring about happiness in their lives and magically make every problem vanish. However, every such movie that has a sequel sort of starts with the very same soulmates fighting with each other and leading a frustrated life. See Shrek part 2 and you know what happens to so-called true love when the honeymoon period is over, kids come into the picture and instead of spending time with your “soulmate”, you plan out activities that can keep you as far away as possible.
On the other hand, there are people like me who struggle with the idea of “soulmates” and “true love”. I don’t believe that one fine day someone will magically pop into my life and right all my wrongs. Rather than love, I would prefer true companionship that can only be found through practical means.
Embracing Romantic Realism
Romanticism has always been associated with a magical feeling, butterflies fluttering in your stomach, hearing musical notes without any instrument, staring into the dreamy eyes for hours, and so on.
Dating is very tedious, we set a lot of high expectations and then too much hurt and unnecessary pain happens when things don’t work out. Romance is short lived and hence people need to start dating with a pragmatic approach. List down the key fundamental requirements of a relationship that are non-negotiable so that you can stop pursuing the person even if the physical chemistry is awesome. People who put emotional requirements before practical ones are often the ones who are left miserable and hopeless.
Romance needs to be looked at from lenses of reality. After growing up with fairy tale stories, watching Disney movies, we have created an idea of romance that involves finding the perfect person who you have envisioned in your dreams. Unfortunately, when we find that perfect person, we start expecting them to behave the way we want, dress up the way we like, sometimes we even start pretending ourselves expecting the other person to like us in the same way. This charade of magical romance can last for only sometime and then it becomes taxing on any relationship because you live a pretentious life rather than a real one.
For e.g. you meet someone who is a very outdoorsy person, likes to go hiking and fishing, on the other hand, you are a very homely and indoor loving person. For a while you will try to act outdoorsy, even go hiking but after a while it will start draining you out. So, before you get serious, wouldn’t it be good to find a person who shares the same interests as you, likes to curl up and read a book instead of going mountain climbing every Sunday.
People need to start dating in a practical way rather than a reactive way.
What do I feel about love?
For me companionship is more important than passion. The initial days of passionable love when you are addicted to each other and pretend to like everything that is dear to the other person, goes away soon. After that, if you don’t have compatibility then all you will end up with is physiological imbalance and frustration.
For people who after 10 years of marriage also brag about still feeling the passionate love, I personally think are fucked up. Maybe they still have great sex, but that’s about it. A good bonding factor of a relationship is realism and not passion. Be practical with your needs, don’t change for someone and if things don’t work out then don’t be disheartened, we live in a world of over a billion population, you will surely bump into someone more realistic and practical soon.