The New York Times recently published an article entitled, Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person. As a single woman I needed to know why I would marry the wrong person before I even got close to dating that person.
The article made some good points to back up it’s claim about why many of us will marry the wrong person; like the fact that people constantly romanticize love and marriage.
What matters in the marriage of feeling is that two people are drawn to each other by an overwhelming instinct and know in their hearts that it is right… we marry to make a nice feeling permanent. We imagine that marriage will help us to bottle the joy… (The New York Times)
If you really took a step back and analyzed this thought process it makes no sense. I blame romantic comedies for this completely unrealistic view on love and marriage.
And while I’d love to say I always knew romantic comedies were the death of our relationships, I too fell prey to the romantic comedy trap.
As a little girl I watched reruns of the Love Boat and thought, all I needed to do is go on a cruise and I’d find love. I tried that when I graduated from high school and all I found was a boat full of teenagers enjoying the younger drinking age in international waters.
When I got older I traded in that dream for finding my ‘Darius Lovehall’ from my favorite romantic comedy, Love Jones. Who wouldn’t want a renaissance man who could make up a poem about you the first time you meet, then takes you on a romantic date that ends with him making you breakfast the next morning? I searched for years for that guy who would be the blues in my left thigh, and try to be the funk in my right with no success. I began to wonder if they’ll ever be “A Blues for Danielle.”
I’ve come to terms with the fact that some really hot guy, that has never noticed me, will not end up at my sister’s wedding to give me a ride home in his Porsche like in Sixteen Candles. Nor will some guy in a limo come searching to rescue me from my life as a prostitute like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
So how will I know when I meet my soul mate?
The truth, I have no freaking clue. However, like The New York Times article implies, neither of us will be prefect. Yet, he will be perfect for me because he’ll be able to negotiate our differences and compromise like a foreign diplomat all while making me laugh. That is true love to me.
So until we meet, I will continue to live by two key rules to love (and eventually marriage):
- Romantic comedies are like the April Fools’ Day of love.
- You must build a loving relationship with yourself before trying to build it with another.