This post was first published on LOLA’s blog on Oct 7, 2013. I’m putting it here as a backup copy. Click here to see the original post.
Many of us have a certain view or image on love and relationships that have been influenced by family and friends, the books we read and the shows we watch. We have an expectation on what love is supposed to be what it’s supposed to feel like. More often than not, these hinder us more than it helps. We’re left disappointed and empty when our date or relationship doesn’t go the way we want it to (i.e. happily ever after).
If that’s been distorted, imagine what other parts of love and relationships have been as well? I’ve discovered five quotes/concepts that have changed the way I think and I’d like to share them with you.
A lot of people are shy when it comes to dating and confessing, and not without good reason. The fear of rejection is always there, isn’t it? How many of us keep playing the scene of rejection over and over and over again in our heads until the fear consumes us and we end up chickening out? Yeah, I did that too, until I came across this comic strip from The Optimist that was really profound.
“Perhaps your anxiety over how others might perceive you is just the coward’s version of vanity.”
This really rocked my world and changed the way I saw myself. I no longer saw shyness as an excuse to chicken out, but an insult to my character. I’m not vain (okay not really), and I certainly didn’t want to be a coward. Who cares what others might think? The only person whose opinion mattered was the one whom I was going after. I wasn’t that afraid of talking to girls or asking them out anymore.
Of course, I didn’t change overnight and become super confident and/or thick-skinned. The idea set itself in my head and slowly I became much more confident. It took a while, but every rejection I had just made me stronger.
Disclaimer: Just because you’re more confident doesn’t mean it will guarantee you the girl or guy you’re chasing. It just helps you take that first step and increases your chances of success.
2. Prince Charming
Where have most of our distorted views on love and romance come from? You guessed it: Disney movies. It’s all about the Prince Charming, the knight in shining armour come to defeat the dragon/monster and rescue the helpless princess.
How much farther off the mark of reality can we get?
(Okay, don’t answer that.)
There (sadly) are no more real knights in shining armour. Even in medieval times, knights didn’t always have shining armour; especially not the good ones who have just done battle. A knight in shining armour is supposed to represent a flawless hero that saves the princess. Now this presents two views that, in this modern day and age, are now different.
First, not all guys are knights. Even if they are, they may not be shining (read: perfect). Ladies, nobody is perfect, so isn’t it unrealistic to think that you’ll find a perfect, flawless guy? Second, not all women are damsels in distress. Most women now are stronger, more independent, ambitious, and certainly don’t need saving. Even in chess, the queen protects the king. So ladies, don’t wait around for your man; go look for him. The poor fool may be stuck in a tree or something.
3. Finding the One
Most of us are on this personal quest to find The One, your other half or your soul mate. For most of my post-puberty life, my focus was really on finding my perfect partner. I had a profile of what kind of girl I wanted (still do, actually) and constantly made little changes and additions until I had the profile of my ideal partner. Well, it turns out that looking for one out of seven billion people is a tough challenge.
Then I read this and was thoroughly taken aback. Upon reflection, I realized that I had neglected to develop myself, both physically and in character. I was a weakling who couldn’t even do three pull ups and I sure wasn’t the nicest person in the world. No wonder I faced rejection after rejection.
Ask yourself: Are you the type of person who attracts the type of person you want? You can search all you want for your soul mate and when you do find him/her, are you going to be what they are searching for themselves?
4. You complete me
Many people, especially naïve youngsters, think that we need to find our other halves in order to be complete. This is why the metaphors of “missing puzzle pieces” and “opposites attract” work.
“The trick, kiddo,” his mom replies slowly. “Is finding someone who complements you instead of completes you. You need to be complete on your own.”
– The Fight, and Fate by the farofixer
If you buy into the “you complete me” perception, doesn’t that mean that without your significant other, you’re incomplete? It implies that you can’t function without that person. I’m sure all of us were functioning normally before we got into a relationship. If you really were “incomplete”, you would need a specific set of – shall we say – parts that would complete you. Your partner would have to be exactly that specific set of “parts” that complete you, meaning that he or she would be totally different than what you are. Doesn’t that seem strange?
Instead, complementing (and complimenting!) each other works out much better. You both are able to function as individuals, but can work together as a team to be something more synergistic.
5. The Endgame
If you’re single, have you thought about what you want from your future partner? Or if you’re in a relationship, have you ever thought about why you’re in it? Well of course, it’s because you love your partner, but what is your goal for the relationship? Are you in just for fun, or are you looking for a serious relationship? I think couples need to get this sorted out early, or it has the potential to cause problems later on.
Many people don’t really know what they want. They guess, they think, but they don’t know for sure. The main reason is probably because the thought doesn’t even occur to them. They just want to enjoy being together and not deal with the endgame. It’s really important to know what you want, because if let’s say, you want to get married eventually, but your partner doesn’t, then well, things may not go so smoothly.
So make sure you know what you want, because only when you know what you want can you work towards attaining it.