Every great story has an even greater love story as its backbone. Now, here’s the problem…
Our definition of romantic love doesn’t match our definition of love – allow me to explain. Why are love stories such great stories? Why do people love reading love stories so very much? Because the best ones make us feel intensely emotional.
We cherish the idea of finding love, of wanting to spend the rest of our lives with someone, to overcome hardships, to find love, keep it, have someone for ourselves.
Then to lose that love – wallow in the pain and misery only love can create – only to once again find him or her someday in the future, so as to finish off the great journey, that is romantic love, on a beautifully joyful note.
Such complex stories of love found, love lost, heartbreak, heart mending and a happy ending are what we live for.
Do you see the problem? Our perfect version of a love story is one filled with loss, heartbreak and pain. We love love stories because they excite us. They put us into lovers’ shoes and force us to feel the way they feel – to feel their happiness and their sorrow.
And we love it. We love the joy. We love the pain. We love the way love stories make us feel because they make us feel alive. That’s what love really is – feeling more alive than you thought possible, all thanks to one particular person entering, changing and leaving your life.
A love story is only as good as the struggle the characters must endure in order to find themselves in each other’s arms. If there is no struggle, then there isn’t much of a love story; without struggle, you don’t have a story at all. Or rather, you don’t have a story that anyone wants to read.
Nobody wants to hear a story that goes something like, “…and then he saw her… he went up to her, asked her out, took her to dinner… they fell in love right away and spent the rest of their lives together, happily every after.”
No one wants to read a story with no struggle, with no pain, with no sadness, with no excitement, worry or confusion. We like our love stories like we love our action movies: dramatic.
This is the version of romantic love we are all secretly looking for. Nobody wants to live an uneventful love life because uneventful is a synonym for boring. If your relationship is uneventful, then your relationship must be boring. We want our love story to be as grand as we wish the rest of our story to be.
We want it to outshine other love stories, to be more intense and more exciting. We want people to talk about what it took for us to be together. In other words, we want to struggle in our relationships.
Because the world rarely splits two lovers apart, most of the problems two lovers will have are of their own creation. Our lives aren’t as exciting as the stories we read and admire, so we add problems for us to overcome.
We make things difficult for ourselves because we love the idea of having to fight for love. We like the idea of being the heroes in our personal stories and feel that we need a grand love story to satisfy us. We’re all so very stupid.
There is one thing that either makes or breaks relationships. Trust – or the lack thereof. Trust is what holds relationships together, what makes being a part of the relationship a logical and intelligent decision.
We need to have people in our lives we can trust because, without anyone you can trust, you really are entirely alone. As human beings, we all want a grand love story, but what we all actually need is to find a partner in life we can trust as much as we trust ourselves – if not more.
Without trust, a relationship will never, ever work. I really mean never. I am bringing this up because a lot of people will ask me if I believe two people, who at one point were together, but fell apart because of bad timing, could ever find each other again.
Can we catch the one that got away? In theory, it is certainly possible. However, the answer is usually no. Not because it isn’t possible… because it is. It just isn’t likely.
People break up for a reason. Often it has to do with a lack of trust. If this is the case, then why would you think the trust would all of a sudden make its way into your relationship? Sure, you’re both older and wiser, but that doesn’t mean that the emotional scarring has disappeared entirely.
And even if trust wasn’t originally the issue, it most definitely is now. Once you break up with a person, especially if you are the one to do the breaking up, that person will always consider the idea that you may decide to do it again, that you may once again break that person’s heart.
I know it seems like something that is surmountable – and maybe it is – but again, it’s not likely. Trust is very difficult to create, rather easy to hold on to, and almost impossible to regain. The more damage you caused each other the last time, the more unlikely it is that you’ll be able to let go of your past and trust each other again.
It’s not impossible. It just isn’t very likely. Hell, it isn’t likely at all. How could you trust someone while you’re still coughing up water from the last time that person let you drown — especially if that person held your head under.
I know all too well what it means to destroy a person’s trust beyond repair. It’s one of the ugliest things I’ve ever done and ever had done to me. Can you catch the one that got away? Yes.
But keeping him or her for eternity is another question altogether. Can you blame someone for not trusting you when there’s still so much pain from the last time you were together?