I am not akin to the stereotypical romantic; unlike many women, I did not meticulously plan my prospective wedding in great detail by my eighth birthday. I want to believe in true love; the one love unlike any other. The kind of love that plays Mozart’s violin concerto with your heartstrings and clouds your vision with a rose coloured vapor.
My inner idealist has a strong desire to believe in the presumption that soul mates exist; the notion that everyone has one perfect companion yearning to be found, the person that destiny and god have created especially for them.
I truly want to believe in fate and beautiful dreams, that love transcends all obstacles, challenges, and every other complexity that may hinder the road of life. I truly do.
Inside me lives a young woman who naively clings to the hope that when you find the one person that you are meant to be with, by some whimsical twist of fate, things will harmoniously fall into place.
Yet that young woman must continually be battled and tormented by my inner realist; a broken and besieged little imp whose only desire is to stomp out my belief in fairytales and romantic ideals. I know that, despite the greeting cards and fables, love is not blind. It is shallow and ephemeral. All of the wrong people stay together because they are unwilling to accept change. Change is difficult and unnerving. Change inspires trepidation and challenges even the most stable minds.
On the contrary, more often than not, tales of true love are recounted as ‘the ones who got away’, the people who slipped through our fingertips, or for one reason or another were lost but never forgotten. The people by whom all future relationships are judged. For the lucky few, the flames of these loves are rekindled years later.(And, for the rare exceptions, they were able to beat the odds and held close their hearts desire despite the roadblocks) But, for most, true love is nothing more than a twisted and over romanticized memory of what used to be, and can never be again.
My life experiences, growing up in a single-family household and the world around me make me doubt whether I will ever have faith in romantic love. I find myself questioning the illusions that surround the very idea of love. Do we ever really love each other? Or, do we exist together because we feel that we have to?
Something that happened not long ago made me question love and its bearings in our lives. A person very close to me questioned their future happiness as they openly displayed their sole to the world. They admitted that they had settled, and feared their life was exhausted by being spent married to the wrong person because everyone around them had told them it was the right thing to do. Now, nearly 30 years later their heart still wept because the person they truly loved was gone out of their reach.
I have had many relationships, some good, some bad, some that ended because there was no future, some that ended for no reason, and some that ended simply because I was unable to differentiate between love and any other emotion I could muster up. Is love a chemical reaction, or something we are taught? Who knows? Do we love because we can, or do we love because we feel we have to?
The generation before me said that, “love is a battlefield.” Is it worth fighting for? When is it time to wave a white flag? Should we fear letting the ‘lost’ loves in our lives know where we stand, and how we feel, even if it means getting shot ‘through the heart’ or do we continue to let love (or the idea of it) cloud our judgment and determine the course of our future happiness?
When is it time to let go and just live?