I love romantic comedies.
I’ve always loved romantic comedies.
The ups, the downs. The twist. We all know the format, and yet we all watch on.
Don’t get me wrong, romantic comedies are great. They’re brilliant, zone-out entertainment. But sometimes we need to be able to separate fiction from life.
Does love always have to come with the crazy dramatic start? Do we always need to be the drama queen?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always seen love as something you have to work for. A fight. A battle. Something which doesn’t come easy.
And yet, when I look at all my friends in successful relationships … the majority of their relationships did come easy. Yes, they may have fought for stuff, or overcome problems over the years … but the base stuff – the ‘them’ part, that bit came easy.
There’s a lovely expression, that when you meet the right person, suddenly you appreciate why things never worked out with anyone else before.
But when you’re single … or in the early stages of relationship, there’s a tendency to read into stuff. To see the dramatic aspects – the hurdles – as the signs that you’re on the right path. Your very own romantic comedy.
My parents haven’t helped me with my own romantic comedy expectations! Their shared history was one of one in a million fate, combined with dogged determination.
My Dad was travelling around Europe, and never even planned to head into Romania, let alone meet the love of his life there. A few random decisions saw him pass through a small town called Brasov, where his train stopped unexpectedly overnight. On the hunt for a hotel, he met a pair of women walking down the street and asked for directions. One of the women was my mother’s landlady. My Mum was living in her student boarding house, and when Dad took the lady’s offer of a bed at the boarding house, he walked straight into my mother’s 23rd birthday party. And so fate took its course.
They never had an easy ride. Neither spoke eachother’s language until at least a year into their marriage. They got to know one another in pigeon French, and facial expressions! Back in the early 1970s, immigration was a particularly difficult affair, especially when you were moving out of the Communist East. And yet they weathered every storm, and were together for 31 years, until in 2003 cancer took first Dad, and then Mum.
When that story is the prelude to your life, it’s hard not to see love as something to fight for. Their marriage was so strong because they had truly battled for it. I had seen the ups and downs first-hand, and understood the way they had supported one another.
Combine that shared history with a love of romantic comedies, and it’s not hard to become a girl who looks for the fairy tales in life. Where is my handsome prince? What dragons do I have to battle to find him?!
I see it when I look back to the start of the year. To getting into a near-impossible relationship with Mr SC and doing everything in my power to try to make it work. And whilst I don’t regret trying, and I actually admire my own dogged resilience in certain circumstances, sometimes there’s a lot to be said for an easy option.
Not for settling. But for something which just seems simple from day one. For finding someone who slots into your life so easily and so well, it’s as if you can’t remember a time when they weren’t around.
We all have different sides of ourselves. The face we wear at work. The face we wear around certain friends. I know I behave around my sister in a way I act around very few people. It’s the way our Dad brought us up – using silly voices and playing with words without thinking. Me at my most basic. It’s the person I revert to when I’m tired, and not wearing my ‘outdoors’ mask.
The older I’ve got … the more guys I’ve introduced into my world – for a date, or a week, or six months … the more I’ve come to realise that the fairy tale part doesn’t have to apply to the start of a relationship. Sometimes you can meet someone and it can actually be incredibly simple. You can meet someone who effortlessly removes their mask, and who slots into your life so easily that you can remove your mask too – and be the version of yourself you reserve for only a few people.
Next time you find yourself in a drama queen situation – doing everything you can to cling to the most complex and exhausting of relationships, take a step back, and ask yourself – is this a mask you want to wear for the longterm? Because if something starts off that complicated, and requires so much effort from day one … when do you finally get to drop the mask? When does all the drama finally dissipate? When do you actually get to live happily ever after? Because when it comes to it – that’s always our favourite part of the fairy tale. That’s the part of the romantic comedy we all stay waiting to see happen. And if you can get to that bit without even trying … you can find out all the fun the happily ever after part has to offer, far more quickly!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx