It might seem a little odd to post a video about figuring out when you're ready to settle down as a weekly inspiration, but I'm not going to lie, this video inspires me. In case you want to watch it without "spoilers" I'll explain why below.
First of all, I am a total hopeless romantic and always have been. I distinctly remember watching Notting Hill with some friends in high school, and then, as the credits rolled over Shania Twain's "You've Got a Way", lying back, imagining my soulmate was wrapped up in Shania's words, and sighing deeply at the beauty of perfect love. My friends rolled their eyes very loudly.
The things is that while I swooned at romantic comedies and sappy love songs, and still tear up every time a dude goes on a big, unrealistic romantic adventure to win back his lady love, my actual romantic dreams have always been far more realistic. As a teenager I once wrote a love song that espoused the opposite of the "head over heels" love, where a person has their feet firmly planted on the ground and chooses to love the other without making ludicrous, untestable promises about mountains and oceans. When I fantasized about my wedding day, my favourite part wasn't the dress or flowers, but the actual promise I would be making and the meaning behind it.
At the same time, I am pretty sure that 'kids my age' somehow got it into their/our heads that true love would be a Disney/Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks/Manic Pixie Dream Girl-style affair where we meet someone who overturns our experience of life and overshadows any other love we've ever experienced, who we are never hurt by, who always says the right thing, and who always intrinsically understands us, without explanation. And that we shouldn't EVER settle for less.
So I like this video, and am inspired by it, because it's real. Because it reminds us that every single person will do things that drive us crazy and hurt our feelings. That most of being with someone is day-to-day living: grocery shopping, putting away dishes, and navigating a shared space. That we are ready for that when we realize that the sparkly fairy tale is the romance of having chosen this particular flawed person to do all these things with.
I think we'll all be much more free to live joyful lives if we are more realistic in general about what that means. That the joy is to be found in not only accepting, but perhaps embracing and committing to, imperfection.
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