A few days ago, I saw a Facebook post from a high school classmate that said “I want a fairytale. A love like you see in the movies.” I immediately started running movies through my head and wondering what exactly she wanted. A love like in Titanic? Where one of you freezes to death in an icy ocean?
When Harry Met Sally? Where it takes you YEARS to realize that it had to be him/her?
Love Actually? Lord knows we all love this movie around the holidays but seriously, this is what was written about it for IMDB. Is that what you want?
“The characters are falling in love, falling out of love, some are with right people, some are with the wrong people, some are looking to have an affair, some are in the period of mourning; a capsule summary of reality. Love begins and love ends.” – Written by Rosemea D.S. MacPherson
Or maybe she was thinking Sweet November. There was great love there, but also cancer (that she didn’t tell him about). No bueno!
Perhaps it was the love story of Rhett and Scarlett that she wished for? Jealousy, eyes for another lover, drunken nights, unwanted children? Seriously though, those “love stories” all have undesirable parts. They have fights, accidents, trials, and death, the real story is overcoming those things and living in happiness and sharing a life with someone you can’t imagine living without. No matter what movie she is watching, she’ll see that the love isn’t always perfect. The Notebook left us all in tears. The Vow made you pray you never, ever lost your memory – and neither did your significant other. The point is, love isn’t a fairytale like we grow up thinking. Even Disney princesses go through hell before finding their prince charming.
It’s easy to think that your relationship isn’t as perfect as someone else’s when you see their pictures on Facebook and they look so in love. Or when all of your friends are getting married and you’re still just dating, or even still single. Forcing love isn’t the right route, and probably will end up at a dead end. Wishing to have love that’s all cotton candy and candy apples all the time isn’t realistic either. I’ve been married for four months and while I think we’re a great couple with a great love story, it doesn’t mean that we haven’t fought. It doesn’t mean that one of us isn’t annoyed when the other one doesn’t empty the dishwasher or take the laundry out of the dryer as soon as it’s done. But we’re still in love, and it’s perfect for us. That’s all that matters.
I’m not sure what this person meant by wanting a love like the movies. Maybe they wanted those few moments we see in a two hour film where we swoon – mostly we can attribute that to Bradley Cooper/Channing Tatum/Ryan Gosling being the guy who is saying all of those sweet, perfect lines in his oh-so-sexy voice. Newsflash, the other two hours of the movie aren’t like that. And if you were to watch “their life” together, you’d see more moments where they were bored, fighting, working, and doing all the things that life requires and less of those moments where they’re having candlelit dinners and holding hands on a beach and running into each other’s arms swearing to never be apart again. It’s great when those moments happen, and I’m not saying they don’t happen. I missed LW so much when I took a trip to San Diego that I couldn’t wait to get home – and we had one of those moments in the airport where I ran and jumped in his arms, the same arms that were holding flowers for me and I melted right there. However, when I get home from business trips these days, we don’t have that reunion. It’s more of a kiss, throw the luggage in the car and decide where to go for dinner kind of reunion. While it’s not as dramatic, it doesn’t make me feel any less loved.
The ultimate goal should be a love, relationship, and/or marriage where your love is cultivated. Where you focus on each other’s needs, wants, desires and make sure you love that person to the best of your ability – and then some. Focusing on movies or other people’s relationships will get you nowhere, and will probably only drum up some unnecessary resentment for your other half. Don’t let that get in the way of what can be your fairytale. A fairytale that no one else can have. A fairytale that is so wonderful, you can’t wait to tell your grandkids about it one day. Focus on you and your relationship. Focus on the good, and if it’s not good enough for you, make it better or move on – but don’t pine for unrealistic, scripted love. Real love is so much better.
I’ll leave you with this and hope you’ll stop comparing yourself to others and the movies: “Comparison is the theif of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt