All of us have a dating history, the ghosts of past relationships that will follow us into our future. While we may remember some of these relationships more fondly than others, all of them have come to an end for one reason or another. If we keep putting ourselves out there and allowing our hearts to be broken, are we stupid or are we hopeless romantics? Are they the same thing?
It’s no secret that I am a hopeless romantic. I believe that love conquers all because love gives us the strength to do anything. When you fall in love, the world looks different and the obstacles in your way somehow seem less challenging. Those miles in between you become a plane ride instead of a tragedy and you somehow become capable of tackling situations you never before thought you could handle. Love may not conquer the world for you but it gives you the confidence to do it yourself.
On the other hand, love is also very blind. We only see the things that we want to see and sometimes, we even create scenarios that aren’t real because we wish they were. We convince ourselves that our feelings are mutual and that this relationship will finally be “the one”. We somehow manage to find each other’s flaws and imperfections to be cute and endearing. Then about six months to a year down the road, these are the exact qualities we hate about one another.
Women release a certain hormone during sex that stimulates feelings of love. In an evolutionary sense this hormone is meant to keep the mothers and fathers of babies together to care for the child. In a modern-day sense where sex is rarely a means to an end other than an orgasm, this hormone is simply a nuisance. It causes us to waste time dwelling over someone we were never that interested in to begin with yet, somehow, we can’t get them off of our minds. This is how relationships that were never meant to be are born. And this is why women tend to grieve relationships longer than men do.
Most women I know spend the grieving time period completely analyzing their late relationship. We try to figure out where things went wrong and what we could have done differently. We blame the failure on bad lighting or a bad hair day and we rarely chalk it up to just being with the wrong person at the wrong time. We also tend to try our hardest not to look at ourselves for fear that there is something innately wrong with us. But if we don’t learn from our past failed relationships, how can we ever expect to make one work in the end?
The difference between being stupid and being a hopeless romantic is how you look at things. If we approach every person we meet and every relationship the same way, then we are stupid. We expect love to just fall into our laps and propose. But if we see each person for who they really are and what they really need, we have a good starting point. If we devote ourselves to finding someone who may not be perfect but who can offer us the essentials that we need for our hearts and souls to thrive, we’ve learned what it means to be a hopeless romantic. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Failure is the only way to learn till you’ve come undone.” ~ We’ll Never Know – Lifehouse
(Originally posted October 6th, 2005 ~ Shoe Diaries)