Yes, we are talking about romance. Now, before I dive deep into this whole rambling on the mere concept of having mutual bond with someone, I am deeply aware this may come straight out of left field. Why? Because I am single, so what the hell do I have to say about romance outside of typical cliched romances in cinema and the songs from The Book of Love the Magnetic Fields sang about and Peter Gabriel covered? Well, romance has evolved from the days of fairy tales into a simple, yet complicated process into a real and honest truth.
Lately, it has been appearing in the media world as well, be it at the local cinema or in the palm of your hands reading a romantic novel. Not the the puppy dog romances that exists in films like Grease or vapid hints in the Twilight series, both in film and novel form. No, romance is seen as it should be: a series of events where to people are probably destined to be together (or not, I digress), but must undergo arduous tasks, rediscovery or a good kick in the ass in order to fulfill their goal in the modern romance world. The idea of love and romance is one tough shell to crack.
It seem sugarcoating the truth of this amazing and terrifying experience is no longer the case. For example, men and women alike have a series of unrealistic expectations based off what they feel is an ideal relationship from what they see on the silver screen, in their world view or by misinterpreting the entire premise of (500) Days of Summer. We set up these expectations to suit are needs, but when you get down to it, it is pretty much a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need.’ For example, in the film Ruby Sparks, the main character Calvin, played by Paul Dano, ends up falling in love with his creation Ruby Sparks because she is everything he desires from a woman by writing out exactly what she can do to satisfy him.
Ruby does not like this and begins to break down and turn into something he did not expect. It is not until Calvin realizes at the last second “Oh fuck, this is not what I wanted’. No one truly needs what they want and cannot control their ideal sense of romance. What few understand is that romance is based on two people’s ideal vision of what it can create and what it can go onto be and not just one’s perception of the whole relationship. Sure, it can backfire and the two may not agree, but in the end, they must work out a bond. It’s kind of like a co-op objective in a mod for Warcraft III. You two have to solve one objective together and figure out exactly what you need to build, what to take away from the previous builds and how to approach the situation at hand without completely fucking it up.
But know you ask yourself ‘What can I do to change that?’ It’s simple really. Lower expectations and go into it with a realistic and optimistic view. It may not go the way you want to, but that’s okay because you decided to approach it with realism and a clear head rather than being stuck in a fantasy created in the mind. I have given advice to people who wonder why they can’t get the person they want or why their relationship is working. This sole reason seems to be the problem and many need to see that it is not them that is the problem, but themselves.
Even the young teen romances that we all experienced in the high school prime of our lives getting a new modern view as well. Young love, and for many their first love, in high school is hell. The couples want to be happy with sunshine and rainbows flying everywhere, yet many obstacles are in their way and they fall apart in an instant. The fantasy is taken over by the reality, but it is a tough lesson to learn. Seeing romance in a realistic sense is hard to do.
One of the most popular novels at the moment is John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which provides the most realistic view on young romance and the harshness that it all is. In the book, an intelligent and gorgeous young teen with thyroid cancer named Hazel Grace falls for a gorgeous specimen of a boy named Augustus Waters, who has lost a leg due to his osteosarcoma and they fall head over heels for one another. Hazel feels that her death will tear them apart and does not to fall for Augustus, but Augustus decides to love her regardless even knowing about the danger that may lie ahead for them.
Without spoiling too much of the book, they both have intricate talks about the concept of death and the concept of why being together may not work out for the best. It is smart, intelligent, and takes the concept of the already heartbreaking teen romances and elevates by thrusting a true and honest element upon these two have two equally struggle with. They cooperate together to work through it and see it to the end despite the struggle that will face them later on. Normally, we see this realistic situation in older couple, but to have a younger couple undergo it all is brilliant. The expectations were not high, but grounded in the reality around them.
In my last relationship, we had set unrealistic expectations and got lost in the fantasy of what it could become and where it will go. She promised me that we can go on and live our lives after high school since I had just graduated and that everything will be fine. I, like the idiot I am, believed every word of it even though I knew it probably would not last. Sure enough, it did not and it was one hell of a lot to deal with. We set ourselves up for failure and did not approach our relationship with a clear mind. I took the realistic view point of the world from then on after the heartbreak of that relationship and gave up on the fantasy that ran around in my peception.
Or maybe I am wrong. Maybe the magical romance that exists in fantasy is still around us all and I have yet to personally experience it in its form. Maybe the fantasy still lingers about and miracles do happen. Heck, someone right now in the world could be bumping into a random guy or gal in a humorous way and fall in first sight. A couple can probably be forming right now just from stares across the room of the local coffeehouse and then venture off with one another.
Till the next rambling.