I’ve never really been one for fairytale love stories. For me, practicality always got in the way of my starry-eyed fantasies. Maybe that’s why I’ve spent a majority of my life single. Or maybe it’s because I’ve spent more time reading textbooks than I have reading Cosmo magazine. But now that I’m happily in a relationship, my conception of love has grown. In particular, I’ve developed 3 key ideas about the concept of love and relationships as I perceive them. First, the best relationships grow out of friendship. Second, relationships (of any kind) cannot be forced. Third, love is a ton of fun.
The best, purest, and strongest relationships grow out of friendship. In my experience, the most genuine relationships are not typically the result of starstruck glances and pixie dust. They are based on friendship. To convey this idea, I want you all to think of your best friend. Maybe you’ve known this person your whole life, or maybe you’ve only recently met. Regardless, you probably feel comfortable around this person. You share your own inside jokes, stories, and memories. You don’t feel like you need to be on your best behavior or in your Sunday best every time they come over to your house. Good relationships – and love – are built on the same concept. When you’re friends with your significant other, you don’t have to worry about them accepting your little quirks or awkward mannerisms. Chances are they already knew about all these qualities before you even started dating, and they love you all the more for them. In my opinion, the person you’re dating should be one of your best friends, someone you can reach out to for support, laugh with, and make memories with.
Second, true relationships cannot be forced. Repeat after me, ladies: if he’s interested, you’ll know. Now, obviously each guy is different. Some might be shy and therefore more hesitant to put themselves out there. But trust me, if they are interested, they will show some sort of sign. As a feminist, I believe it is perfectly fine for the girl to reach out first if that is what she feels comfortable doing. But there is a difference between helping to initiate a relationship and forcing it. Unlike many rom-coms might suggest, relationships are really not all about “the chase.” Think about it- you’ve spent endless time and effort chasing after this person. And let’s say you finally catch them. Then what? You might feel accomplished at first, but you will probably always be wondering if your feelings are truly reciprocated. So, while it’s fine to send that first text or help plan the first date, make sure you are not forcing the issue.
Finally, and most importantly, love should be fun! Movies and books often portray love as this messy, complex ocean of drama and tears. And while love can surely bring forth a myriad of emotions, true love should be filled with joy, laughter, and fun. I have felt as much love during the nights of oversized T-shirts and junk food as during the fancy date nights of high heels and flowers. I’ve felt love in a sideways glance at a party, or in a quick laugh about a shared inside joke. For me, the best part of a relationship is being able to have someone with whom you can share all the joy that the world has to offer. The best kind of relationships are those where you can do absolutely nothing together and still think it’s just the best thing because, well, you’re together.