I recently heard another story of a couple who seems to be headed to splitsville. Anyone looking at it can see the dysfunction. We jump into relationships too quickly. Intrigued by what we see. What do they call it? Love at first sight. Where have I heard that before? In fairy tales.
We all know that excitement of being wooed. A man-on-a-mission is like a launched missile; going to hit that target no matter what. The whirlwind romance, the fancy meals, the weekends away, the lavish gifts. Most importantly, the attention. Oh, this is heaven. This is the one for me. I could live like this. Sound familiar? Yes, in fairy tales.
Crash! You’re jolted into reality. The daily grind, work, life, family, bills. Illness and exhaustion. Maybe a kid or more. Then add crying, snotty, dirty, annoyingly cutesy pies that don’t sleep on command or understand boundaries or the word ‘no’. What just happened? Where’s my fairy tale?
There is no fairy tale!
The magic of living a life worth loving is in understanding that the flaws and imperfections – in ourselves and others – have not only been created to add nuance and interest, they’re an essential part of our journey and development. Imagine if you opened a book and knew what the end would be. Would you still read?
Our souls have been given human form here on earth to uncover our purpose. Often that means we need to go through heaps of muck before we finally get the lesson. In relationships, we place undue expectation on others. That our happiness will come from another. That if only he/she/they do X, Y and Z , then everything will be ok.
We regularly take people at face value – at the party, the office, the gym, online, wherever – and never actually take the time to get to know them. It’s a coping mechanism for every day social interaction. But, if you’re looking for any meaningful encounters, you have to engage on a deeper level. Where it matters most. Honesty. Trust. Respect. Those cannot materialise over Tinder. They grow with time and quality interaction. Not overnight or on the world wide web.
My life is crazy and chaotic, beautiful and peaceful, all at the same time. Once you learn to embrace the ebbs and flows, the highs and lows, you learn to live in peace. Real peace. And love. I wouldn’t change my perennially late, soccer-obsessed dude and noisy, demanding, forever hungry munchkins for the world. They’re my lessons. Beautifully packaged. Sent to school me. And by God’s grace, I’m getting my Masters. It may take a while, but I’m committed. All in.
From today, I’m taking @MeneeshaG’s advice and starting to use hashtags. So #StopTheFairyTales. They’re colonial, at best and downright destructive, at worst. And let’s take time to get to know potential and current partners.