domingo, 14 de febrero de 2010

Feliz día del amor y la amistad! (something of a rant)

I really like that in Spanish Valentine's Day is the day of love AND friendship. Friendship is, for me, a prerequisite to true romance, and really, friends are more valuable than a bunch of bad dates. So much of American Valentine's Day is wrapped up in couples. or they call it Singles Awareness Day. Like being single is a disease. Wear a red ribbon in support of those who are single! If everyone's aware we can fight this epidemic....

I am a romantic person. I love reading a book in which there is a really engaging love story. Or even not such an engaging love story. (Yes I read romance novels too....guilty! Those are usually very unrealistic but there is romance.) In short, I love LOVE! I just don't have any real romance in my life right now. *insert sigh here* If it is worth having, it will happen, and it won't necessarily happen quickly. It is possible to be happy and single. I am discovering that. But at the same time, I want to think to myself that when I am in a relationship, that it is what is best for me. How do I do that? Get to know people, trust them, and make note in my head of any red flags that show that a person (as a friend) is not good for me. I know I might not necessarily marry the next person I date. I am willing to take a chance on someone....I just need to know in my heart of hearts that I have value, and that no love is worth ruining myself emotionally. My ideal man would make me more of who I am, and I would make him more of who he is.

I am happy for those who are in a good, stable relationship with a person who really values them. That is what I want in a relationship. But I know that society has kind of screwed up perfectly sane people with the idea of "love" or "romance." So begins my rant part of this post.....

A lot of the romantic movies make your heart strings flutter are not realistic. I hope that even whilst I melt into a puddle on the ground, I realize that this EPIC, INSTANT love is UNREALISTIC.
Cases in point:
  • My beloved Twilight. Beyond the supernatural elements, Edward and Bella have a very obsessive, overprotective, unhealthy sort of love. Which is why I like Jacob and the love he has for her. :) I have talked about this before. Nothing against Stephenie Meyer, she knows what teen girls want to read.....but really, don't take life lessons from fictional characters. Because then you'll end up in a love triangle, preggers with a vampire baby, and then a vampire yourself.
  • Titanic. Cross class love. He saves her from committing suicide, sneaks around with her on an ocean liner, draws her naked....etc etc....and he dies. And she remembers him even when she is a 110.
  • Disney princes and heroines. (CCDC talked about how a very needy "Cinderella" might have some issues after the wedding with her egotistical, narcassistic prince.) Sleeping Beauty. Snow White. Ariel. Again, as much as I love these movies, do not take them as advice for how to live your life. I will not get into the details.
  • Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom has major anger issues. Don't kidnap the person who you supposedly love and threaten to kill your competition if your love doesn't want to stay with you.
I realize that real love isn't very marketable. It is hard to put what a realistic love affair is into a 2 or 3 hour block of time and get people to see the movie. It would be kind of boring. I think women of all ages, guys too, need to be critical consumers of entertainment. Enjoy it, but don't take it as truth. Question what you see and hear.

Real romances happen. I am sure of it. But there will be bumps along the road. Even the happiest couples fight. It isn't all puppies and rainbows. The thing is, you have to be willing to go down the road of life with someone, and to be there for them no matter what. That's committment.

Real love makes you feel....
a better you!

And of course, the Bible has this to say:
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

A common misconception is that this is talking excusively about couples. TRUTH: Love doesn't necessarily mean romance. Friends and family can give you this type of love.

BUT, ideally, a romantic partner would be patient and kind to you, not be jealous of you in any way, would care for your needs, would want the best for you. An ideal romantic partner would forgive. If you want an ideal romantic partner, you need to try to live up to the ideals of being a good friend and a good romantic partner. If you want someone good, be someone good. We're all human, but we are all capable of working towards being good.

Love might even show itself in something that really hurts you to do. Like understanding if someone you really like gets married to someone they really are happy with. Or that your loved one isn't going to drop their entire life and focus just on you. That's selfish.

Real love happens between equals who encourage the betterment of each other. Obsessive, self-centered relationships do not equal successful romance. In fact, save your loved one therapy money and if you're in a relationship like that, get out!


On this topic,
I love the artist Travis and his songs "Luv" and "Safe":

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