In almost every relationship I’ve ever seen since my friends and I started dating, there have been more games played than on any professional sports network at any given time, and in each situation, someone would end up getting hurt.So, I eventually came to terms with the fact that “the rules” existed, and, although I wasn’t happy with this discovery, I accepted it.Growing up, I knew of no other love stories than that of fairytales.
After a conversation with my friend where I explained to her the problems I was having in my love life — being led on, and fast-forwarding into relationships before giving them a chance to develop on their own — she asked me, have you read, “He’s Just Not That Into You? I had never heard of the book, and thought she was almost mocking me, but, as if to register my confusion in my flushed complexion, she smiled reassuringly and said, “Just trust me, I read it and it’s changed my whole outlook on men.”I was hesitant, but that night, I bought “He’s Just Not That Into You,” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, and I began to read.
After a few days, upon completion of the book, I did feel like I learned things I never knew before, but the main lesson I seemed to take away from the book was, there are So, sure, love can still exist, and couples can live “happily ever after,” but you just have to lower your standards and settle for what you can get, without the excitement of “the chase,” that we all seem to be addicted to.
To the old-soul romantic stuck in the Millennial generation, this was like telling a 5-year-old that Santa Claus isn’t real the night before Christmas.
This isn’t to say I disagreed with the lessons I’d just learned, because, on the contrary, it was more fear that it was 100 percent true, and that’s a scary thought when the romanticized perception of love you possess gets outshone by a near-mathematical equation of it. I didn’t want to believe it was true that there were no exceptions to any of these rules.
Seventeen years and a handful of bad experiences with guys later, I started to wonder what went wrong. The answer I eventually came up with wasn’t that I had some personal defect, but rather that my expectations had been set to an unattainable level, causing me to become attached to people and moments that weren’t exactly what they seemed.
This was the result of the fact that I suffered from a habit of wanting what I couldn’t have, because it was exciting, and because I never wanted to settle for what was “easy.”What’s worse, I was always attracted to stereotypical “assholes.” But, I wanted a “fairytale” so badly, I would accept and manipulate moments and people to fit into what could be “my fairytale.”How did I come to this conclusion?I didn’t want to believe you couldn’t change a person. It might not be the intended purpose, but typically, if a rule has been imposed, chances are that its also been broken.Yes, we’re young, and maybe we’re all just too immature to understand how relationships work, but at that moment, it really felt like no matter how old you were, to “the rules” were as much a fantasy as the fairytale stories themselves. Why do “the rules” of relationships have to be any different?This was possibly because part of me still had hope that one of these passing suitors might resurrect my idea of love, and restore my wish of being But this time, I kept my guard up.I embraced being young and tried taking things less seriously, including my relationships with guys.I went to college and had more “casual hookups,” but never one-night stands.