I recently figured this out the hard way – you should never try and pre-meditate the future of a relationship before it happens. It basically means that you don’t want to play out a relationship in your mind, and be so sure things are going to work out a certain way, when in reality, you have no idea what the future holds. Granted sometimes things turn out better than expected, but your vision is always different than what is the reality. This pre-meditation in relationships is so easy nowadays as well, with online dating, the prevalence of texting, and generally, how our lines of communication have become blurred to infrequent fragments of communication through the various technology media. It’s become too easy to build the “idea” of a relationship in your head without actually putting in the groundwork that is necessary to cement a strong, lasting bond with someone.
So basically, I built up a romance in my head that came crashing down like a ton of bricks, forcing me to go back to the drawing board and reassess my thinking. This is never easy, particularly when you are so stubbornly set on this person being the keystone woman in your future. It’s painfully hard to start over, peel back the layers and adapt to a new layer of skin. Thankfully I came out of the rabbit hole, popped up my head and am now a better, wiser, person who knows never to make that mistake again. So this is what I learnt through that experience:
Real life love is not like the movies: We often get let down in relationships when we’re always living with our head in the clouds. It’s not to say that your relationship can’t be filled with beautiful romance, but real life does not run by a script. Those perfect lines and perfect situations don’t always end up happening in real life. We’re all too concerned with our fears and insecurities that prevent us from taking those leaps of faith and pouring our heart out. For example, whenever I’m on a train (which isn’t often) and I see a pretty woman sitting nearby, I always replay that scene in ‘Before Sunrise’ when Ethan Hawke starts talking to Julie Deply on the train in Europe. What ends up happening is: I don’t talk to the girl due to my complete, all encompassing fear, or her 6 ft. 5” muscular boyfriend comes and joins her moments after the thought of going and sitting next to her pass me by. So as I live in this movie of what love should be like in my head, unfortunately I’m always disappointed with the result in reality.
Don’t put her on a pedestal until you really know her: When we’re really taken with someone, were likely to put them on a pedestal. We conjure up this romanticized vision of who they are in our heads. And often we don’t even really know this person. Yes, we know the best version of them – the carefully screened version that’s always in a good mood and always “on” and funny. It’s not until you’ve really spent a lot of time with this person – making decisions, seeing each other when you’re irritated or overtired and grumpy, until you really know exactly who this person is. It’s important to understand that everybody has their flaws and this girl, who you see as god’s gift to the earth is going to have a whole lot of imperfections. Your relationship together is going to be far from perfect, but if you genuinely enjoy being around one another and you have fun, that’s going to be enough build a substantial relationship together.
Stop trying to define your relationship and just live it: I’m a romantic and like all romantics, you tend to get swept up in all the “hoopla” of romance. When I find a woman that’s on my same wavelength in the romance department, it’s very easy for the both of us to get carried away with it all. We’ll talk about “ our connection” until we start running around in circles, or we’ll go on about how lucky we’re that we found one another and how hard true relationships are to come by nowadays. This is where you have to STOP talking about your relationship, and instead, just live it. Take things as they come and understand that you’re both going to grow – it’s not guaranteed that you will grow together.
No matter how smitten you are; remain patient: Sometimes you meet someone and you instantaneously feel that fuzz, that vibe, whatever you want to call it. It’s hard to contain your excitement when this happens, particularly if you’ve been going for a few years on nothing but hookups and short lasting flings. This is where it’s easy for guys to lose their patience and forget about delayed gratification. You can’t be so naive and foolish with your emotions that you begin playing out the entire arc of your relationship on the basis of hitting it off on the first couple of dates and some spark you feel. You’re going to feel that spark with A LOT of girls in your life; it’s called chemistry, so hold off on the “I’m so smitten with this girl” talk until you’ve logged some serious time together. Also make sure you don’t succumb to this girl just because she’s beautiful. Make it blatantly clear to her that she can’t have you whenever she pleases. You don’t want to come off as being desperate and without options dangling at your fingertips. That’s why you have to hold yourself back at first. Don’t drop your life because this girl has dropped one measly toe into it. Think about the long-term gain of keeping your composure and keeping it light and having fun. Go ahead, court this girl and be the shining gentleman that you are, but just don’t overdo it to the point that you become nothing more than a list of favours that she can come to expect from you.
We all dream of that Hollywood ending, the screen fades as the happy couple walks off into the distance. It’s not ridiculous to think like this, but we need to be aware of its potential limiting factors. If we continue to live our lives with these fairytale romances built up in our minds, we’re going to continue to push people out of our lives because they don’t fall in line with our active imaginations. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a high regard for yourself and the type of person you want to be in a relationship with, but don’t put love on such a high platform that it’s impossible for anyone to reach.
Remember, life is messy but love is even messier. The most important thing you can do is find someone you care about and go make beautiful clutter.