Disclaimer: this is mainly my outlet to help me digest my reflections
Recently I attended my friend’s wedding. It was a simple yet sweet (though not very sentimental) one. It’s actually quite a cute one. I was really happy for them and had a big smile on my face – yet something was missing… I didn’t have the warm fuzzy feeling that I used to when attending weddings or learning about someone else’s love stories. The same neutrality also happened when I was watching sweet and loving real life stories of other couples. I couldn’t help but notice the change in me.
I came to think that this is because I somehow have become disillusioned by the might and magical power of romantic love. I just don’t buy into the idea that romantic love will satisfy the need of love within. Though I couldn’t help but wonder if I’ve become cynical, but no, I don’t feel that I am. I don’t deny that romantic love gives one happiness – but I no longer value this level of happiness the same way I used to. The happiness of this sort of love is so dependent upon another person’s treatments towards oneself. Whether he would say something that is dear or not, whether he would do something that is agreeable or not, whether he remembers the things that I find important, etc. In other words, this sort of love will have strings attached to it… and to think about it, it will be very very hard to find someone who can tick all the boxes of these conditions. Romantic love is also fleeting and sometimes it gets confused with infatuation/lust.
One time a friend asked me what I’ve learnt from my past relationship… I paused and thought for a while, and said that I didn’t want to feel broken again and would be more careful [with choosing whom I’d be with] next time. Feelings are important factors in deciding who we want to be with, but to only rely on feelings to decide will probably make us more prone to heartaches. So I’d take my time to learn about the man first.
After all, we all want to be happy. Why people want to get married or be in a relationship is because doing so they feel happier (or perhaps less lonely). But true happiness doesn’t come from outside (or someone else), but rather from within. If the well of our inner happiness is full, then we can be content being alone or with someone else.
I’m sorry if I burst your bubbles… please note that I don’t say there isn’t any happy relationship, it exists. I have seen a few happy ones… but they don’t come without hardships. They all require some work; mutual understanding, communication, forgiveness, tolerance, etc. And yes, compatibility matters (although compatibility is overrated – this is another topic), as we may find better connection with one person than another. One needs to choose/decide to love another person despite one’s shortcomings. This type of love is more long lasting, and should be cultivated by everyone in relationships.
For those who have found your “soulmate”, I am happy for you. Please don’t take him/her for granted as nothing lasts forever. Life in itself is fleeting. Cherish each other and each moment you spend together. They are precious.
Wishing you well. Thank you for reading.