As women, we grow up watching movies with fairytale endings. We expect all of our problems to find their resolution at a kiss from our prince, the sound of wedding bells, and the promise of “happily ever after.”
But then we reach adulthood, and we realize life is far more complex than glass slippers and pumpkin carriages. We find ourselves disappointed when our kiss doesn’t wield enough magic to turn a frog into a prince.
I’ve realized that forever is overrated anyway.
The experience of loving someone for a long period of time comes with the full development of trust and the opportunity to unravel the complexities of their subconscious — to peel back their walls and learn who they become in states of vulnerability.
We witness love stories like Titanic or John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, and we cry in empathy over the pain that the beloved characters endure in having their forever cut short.
But there is such beauty in the temporary. Isn’t there something enchanting about a love that doesn’t burn long enough to fizzle out, but instead, does so with vibrant intensity despite how impermanent?
It’s time we alter our perception of short-term love and see it not as a failure in obtaining the happily-ever-after we’re in search of, but instead seeing it as the adventure that it is.
Know that a successful relationship doesn’t have to be one of establishing domestic routines, but rather one that you can look back upon to recognize the deep admiration you felt for someone for a time. One you can walk away from with appreciation for what it was, a feeling that is preserved by the fact that it was never forced into lasting forever.
The value of love derives from the growth it inspires within you, so dive into every opportunity for it with an open heart. Allow it to teach you all the lessons it has to offer and know that it doesn’t have to be forever for it to really mean something.
So, don’t call your ex at 3 a.m. and beg for their love again — they’re not the same person they were when you loved them. Instead, remember who you both were then, rejoice in the memories, and know that the version of yourself they once knew will always belong to them.
Know that, in their absence, or in the midst of grieving their departure, you became the unstoppable woman you are today. And isn’t that something to be grateful for?