Yeah, I’ve seen the movies. I’ve heard the songs. I’ve read the books, and I’ve met the people. All of which are trying desperately to hammer home the same few fallacious concepts…
Relationships never last.
If given the chance, people always cheat.
No one can ever really be happy.
This is utter BS.
In a world of nearly 7 billion people (that’s with NINE zeros folks), these circumstances are NOT representative of the majority of relationships. No, I don’t have a book of statistics categorizing the broken-hearted and abandoned among the world’s population. My statement is not contingent upon surveys and percentages. I don’t care what kind of messed up relationship you’ve been in before. It does not mean that everyone is the same. Unfortunately, we live in a world that has a ferocious appetite for gossip, despair and tragedy. And corporations are all too keen on stuffing us full of relationship-damaging, junk food media. The relationships that don’t last are simply the ones that we hear about most often because they make for better storytelling, easier promotion and a higher profits.
“Relationships never last.”
This always makes me angry when I hear people say this in a “matter of fact” kind of way. Instead of qualifying it by saying “my relationships never last”, people would rather use superlatives to convey depth of emotion. Sure, I could easily pull up a couple dozen movie titles in the last year that had something (or everything) to do with a miserable husband/wife. Or a neglectful boyfriend/girlfriend. Or someone who’s settling for someone they don’t really love or want because they’re getting older. But you know who writes these kinds of stories? Financial opportunists, the bitter, and the scorned. Movies like “The Notebook” or “Fireproof” get ridiculed and called chick flicks because they portray relationships that require effort for success (notice I didn’t say happiness). Relationships CAN last. But even the prettiest rose will eventually die without water and sunlight. I make it a point to nurture my marriage and cultivate the fruit born from our collective effort. My marriage is not perfect because we are not perfect people. But it is the closest thing to a fairy tale I’ve ever experienced in my life. And frankly, I’m tired of being told that love has an expiration date.
If given the chance, people will cheat.
A while back, a few people along with myself were corresponding with a guy I went to school with about fidelity (he was about to get married). A mutual friend interjected “All men cheat! If your man hasn’t cheated, just give it time and he will. And when he does, just remember that I told you so!” I was like WTH?!? My first inclination was to roar up and down about the idiocy of that statement. But I refrained. There was no need to shout down her allegation for me to know that it wasn’t true. I’ve never cheated. Ever. That’s not to say that there aren’t people who have cheated. And I don’t even care if you’re one of them. They don’t speak for me and they don’t dictate how I live my life or how I make decisions. I feel sorry for the wife of John Edwards. He (and a handful of other politicians, entertainers and the like) chose to have sex and bring a child into the world with someone other than his spouse. John Edwards is now dealing with the full repercussions of his actions. But regardless of his public infidelity, it shouldn’t imply that every politician is a philanderer.
No one can ever be really happy.
Happiness is a choice. It is not defined by who we’re with or what we do for a living. Happiness has to do with our perspective on life and the value we place on the things that are important. The real truth is that a lot of people are simply lazy. They spend so little time putting in the work necessary to make their lives happy. Yes, I said the four letter word that some people hate to hear: WORK. Happiness doesn’t fall out of the sky. You will not simply wake up one day surrounded by bliss. You will never find happiness by sitting on your butt. People tend to substitute that effort with time spent watching/reading/listening to stories about people who are worse off that they are. Somehow that makes them feel better to say/think, “Well, at least I’m not as bad as that person.” WTH kind of mindset is that to have?? You can choose to BE happy the same way you can choose to be miserable, whether or not you’re single. And I do realize that we will encounter tragedy, injustice and discrimination. But your choices still remain. It’s a long and winding road, but I choose to be happy one day at a time.