Why Being a Romantic is Hard On the Heart

Life is complicated and messy. There will be conflicts and confusing moments. I feel like real life is filled with people like myself and people like my boyfriend. I’m on one end of the spectrum. I try to make something out of everything. I look for signs. I pretend I’m starring in my own movie. I romanticize the little stuff. And he doesn’t. I think he believes in a much more functional type of love. Not the big romance and the movie moments, but the simple facts that a long-term relationship implies. Brushing your teeth because you had onions on your burger at dinner and you don’t wanna kiss until you feel confident about your breath.  Meeting in the library to study together, instead of jetting off to a bed and breakfast for the weekend. I don’t know. I think I have this unrealistic view of love that books and movies gave me growing up. I won’t apologize for it, because I love the way my mind looks at love. But sometimes I worry that I’m always going to be desiring more and more from a guy, and I know that that isn’t fair to him.

The older I get, the more I think lots of girls {at least, the dreamers like myself} have this same problem. We want the first kiss to be under fireworks after the perfect date, not a drunken kiss in a bar after six mixed drinks and seeing your ex-boyfriend out with another girl. But that’s real life. Real life is meeting a guy on Tinder, fighting over who has to do the laundry this time, complaining to your friends about how annoying your boyfriend’s mom is when he tells you his parents are coming to visit for the weekend. Real life is hearing the guy you’re dating say goodnight before you go to sleep, instead of having a beautifully-scripted paragraph ready to go to send you off to bed each night. And it can be really hard to revise your expectations. Especially if you’re like me, and you spend too much time listening to Matt Nathanson, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer. Songs will lead you to believe every guy is thinking these amazing things about you. That love is going to be bigger and grander than anything you could ever imagine. And maybe there are some guys out there like that {hit me up}, but I don’t think too many people are like that. I think we’re all too shy and nervous and vulnerable to be like that in a relationship. Because we look at relationships as being a contest. The person who cares more about the other person instantaneously loses by default. So we play the I-care-less-than-you game. I refuse to play. I’ve always been of the belief that competition kills a relationship. Mini-golf and bowling scores don’t count, of course. But comparing how many girls he’s kissed to how many guys you have isn’t healthy. It doesn’t matter. You both have a past. But you’re together now. And it can’t be a contest if you ever want it to work out.

Romantics everywhere, I know it’s hard to give up this preconceived notion of love and romance. It’s hard to let go of that and realize that real life isn’t the same as our fantasies. It’s hard because, in theory, the real thing isn’t nearly as exciting or enchanting as what we’ve created in our heads. But when you find someone who makes you truly happy, you’ll forget the fantasies you’ve built up for years and realize that the real, tangible thing you have with another person is a thousand times better than you ever could have imagined.

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1 Comment

  1. Hah! This was exactly me. My boyfriend is not competitive with me in any sense, he’s just terribly stoic and very private about his emotions when he actually feels them. I used to call him a robot… and somehow I’ve eventually melted his icy heart into one wonderfully thoughtful and loving guy. On the other hand, he is still not poetic, sentimental, spiritual, dreaming in ANY sense whereas my whole life I’ve been this absolute romantic about every part of my life. It works though. He reels me in when I abuse my imagination to the extent of worrying about silly things 🙂

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