This is why many are surprised that I'm so convinced that love at first sight does not exist. I'm the Kristoff yelling at Anna in Frozen, "Who marries a man they just met?" Whenever I watch a rom-com, of which I watch many, the moment that I realise that the plot takes place over a suspiciously short space of time, I am so done with being invested in that romance. Looking at you, Titanic. One of the arguments that was used to try and justify the plot of Seven Brides to me (though nothing justifies kidnapping six women, just saying), was that they had already met the women and knew that they wanted something with them... ummm... okay... I totally agree that you can instantly be attracted to someone, or know from just a meeting or two that you have a connection with them. However, I don't know how much I believe in that commonly shared idea that is 'if he's the one, you just know'.
Sometimes, if you're like me and believe in God, you can hear from God about the person you're going to marry before you've even met them, or at the moment they enter the room. I have not experienced that though, and I don't know if I'd want to find the love of my life that way. The thing that's a problem for me is that idea of 'the one' and you knowing, by some internal unexplained feeling, that he is the one you're meant to be with. Because how do you distinguish that from infatuation or love for someone that's not going to last? How do you deal with it when you think you've felt that spark, but the other person hasn't? What if somebody tells you they felt the spark, and you feel nothing at all? What if you feel that spark more than once in your life? There are a lot of problems with this theory.
Another theory that my aunty shared, and one that I'm more inclined to believe in, is that it's not 'love at first sight' that exists, but rather 'love in hindsight'. It's when you look back and realise that actually, it was way earlier than you initially thought that he/she became the perfect one for you. It's Lizzie in Pride and Prejudice realising that she "was in the middle before [she] knew [she'd] begun".
Although I am quite cynical about the love at first sight thing, I would still say that I'm romantic. I think actually, in fact, the thought and idea of falling in love slowly and then all at once (as John Green would say) is much more exciting than an initial spark. I want to fall in love with someone again and again everyday as I learn more about them. I want to see all of them, the good, bad, the beautiful and ugly, and I want to make it as much a part of my life as my own feats and flaws.
I see some couples, and I never would've expected them together, yet when I see it and I think about it: I know that they were meant to be together. As I grow older, I've learnt a lot about what we expect regarding love and relationships vs what life is actually like. Although the movies are great, I think that not having any idea what's coming in real life is a lot more exciting.
The other thing I've really learnt as I've got older is that love requires a lot more hard work than stories let on. I hate that phrase, "love means never having to say you're sorry," because it truly is rubbish. Love means never stopping saying sorry, it means reflecting on yourself and your actions repeatedly, and endeavouring to be better not just for your partner, but for yourself. When we're living in an age where celebrity marriages are ending left, right and centre, I feel so sad. It just feels like people just aren't willing to try anymore. Marriage is for life- good times, bad times and all.
As per usual, what was meant to be a few thoughts has expanded into paragraphs worth of my ramblings, so I'll stop here with just one final thought. I seem like a cynical romantic just because I don't necessarily believe in the version of love sold to us via our screens. However, I do believe that love exists in real life, and though it doesn't look the same, it's all the more brilliant and that's what I want.
So yeah... I'm a bit of a cynic... but I'm also a hopeless romantic, and i don't think that will ever change.