Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You Give Love a Bad Name

I used to be the biggest hopeless romantic this side of the Mississippi. A true product of the Disney princess era, I fantasized that my love life was destined to turn out like all of those pop songs promised.

And then I woke the hell up.

It wasn't that long ago that I held certain beliefs about love and romance. I believed love would cast a spell on me and magically make life brighter, better and more worthwhile. This isn't to say love can't make life better (hell, I'm sure those feelings make you feel higher than a kite) - I just don't think being in love solves all of life's problems or is the ultimate, holy grail of a goal. And the Beatles lied - all you need is NOT love. It would be nice to have some sanity too, but I don't feel like this love business is really allowing for that.

Who am I kidding? I've never really been in love, so I'm no expert. I've loved people, but I've never had that definite this-could-be-something relationship with a guy. Sure, I was infatuated in high school like every 16 year old, and yes, my college relationship had me going crazy there for a bit. Post-college relationship was more like going on a third date for about 8 months straight. But none of it felt like real love.

I bring this up because I recently found out a good friend of mine discovered her boyfriend of a few months is actually married. And just a few days after this heartbreaking revelation, she wants to work things out with him.

After witnessing an infidelity issue in my family a few months ago, this is a touchy subject with me. Not to mention, I'm no stranger to watching people I care about let their significant others treat them like shit, justifying it along the way.

It's frustrating to watch, and it's even harder to be a good friend and act happy when things are "resolved." I know it's their business, but when someone I love is hurt, *I* am hurt as well.

The main justification these people seem to have for why they put up with it is that 4-letter word: love. Call me crazy, but love shouldn't hurt. It's not love when someone completely F's you over. If "love" is what these people suffer from, then count me out. To me, it seems "love" makes you stupid.

I can only say that my limited serious-relationship experience has not taught me what love is - it's taught me what love isn't.

Love isn't lying to someone repeatedly
Love isn't physically or emotionally abusing someone
Love isn't cheating on someone
Love isn't living a double life and hiding it
Love isn't a physical attraction
Love isn't drama

Again, I'm not an expert at defining what real love is, but anyone with common sense would agree with my above statements. It seems like people who claim to be so in love are equivalent to drunk people - when you're sober, you tell yourself you would never do x, y or z, and yet when you're wasted, x, y and z all seem like good, rational ideas.

News flash: good relationships don't normally start off rocky and magically work out, as every romantic comedy would like us to believe. Sure, there are road bumps and issues that arise, but it doesn't have to be this big, drawn-out drama with obstacles the size of Alaska in order for it to be true, passionate love.
I really hope all of us, including my dear friends and family, will eventually sober up and stop allowing selfish assholes to get away with douche baggery. I'm not innocent when it comes to putting up with a certain degree of assholeness, but in my defense, I was either in high school or the offense was nowhere as egregious as these latest betrayals I've witnessed. I'm stating right here and now that if any guy ever screws me over that badly, I need to leave pronto. Please shake me furiously if I somehow become one of these pod people who are blinded by so-called love.
My only thought on what real love is - it's probably a lot more boring than we thought. Unfortunately, writing a pop song about love being run-of-the-mill and ho-hum just doesn't seem like the way to sell records.

P.S. This post isn't meant to come off cynical, and I don't think all people who are in love are what I would classify as these pod people. I'm just pointing out those who let love rule their lives and get in the way of their better judgment - they prefer that wild rollercoaster of emotions as opposed to a steady, sustained, rational relationship (maybe because that's too dull, I guess?)

I still believe in love and know that it will happen to me. I'm just more pragmatic about it now because that initial excitement and honeymoon phase we all experience in the beginning eventually wears off, and before you know it, you're annoyed by the guy's TV shows dominating the DVR queue and missing the days when you could sprawl out in bed and not worry about taking up too much space.

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