I grew up with Disney movies setting unrealistic images of what cute and perfect relationships look like. But as I got older, my expectations rose as I became obsessed with Hollywood’s romantic comedies. What they rarely show us on TV are the complications of finding the right person and, better yet, keeping the right person. At first, I actively sought out someone who would fit my perfect checklist inspired by watching too many teen movies. Eventually, I evolved into a hopeless romantic, who denied her desire to find her knight in shining armor, while secretly waiting to be impressed.
To check out a relationship checklist, check out Go-or-Stay.
My unrealistic expectations set me up for failure. I created these perfect ideals for the perfect boyfriend, and if he was even slightly different than who I had in my mind, I would find some way to destroy the budding relationship between us. I told myself that the reason I couldn’t find someone was because my standards were too high. And in this way, I spent the entirety of secondary school with my head in the clouds daydreaming about my imaginary prince charming who was never going to show up.
Eventually, I met someone who managed to break all the expectations I had in my head. He helped me see that having a genuine relationship is a constant rollercoaster ride; in fact, that’s what gives the relationship all the sugar and spice. I’ve learned that there are certain things that you can, for the most part, only learn about yourself while being in a relationship. And more importantly, there are certain things that you can only feel while being in a relationship that no other experience can compare to. These are the things they don’t show us in movies.
Unfortunately, there are unrealistic societal expectations that make normal people doubt their messy relationships. We need to remember that the tough part about real life is that after we finally meet our soulmates our lives don’t just end happily ever after. We actually live after the movie ends.
The important thing to focus on is the fact that we all try our best despite how difficult and painful relationships might be sometimes. If we’re lucky, the romantic relationships we build are better than we could have ever imagined in our own heads. A real relationship is much more beautiful, with its messiness and heartbreaks, than the ones we see portrayed in the movies.