The other night, I was browsing through Edith Hamilton's Mythology (yes, I read this, not exactly for fun, just for the heck of it) and stumbled again on the love story of the god Cupid (Love) and the mortal Psyche (Soul). Like the first time, I read it thinking how absurdly romantic it is.
I'm a girl. I'm genetically predisposed to desire that fairytale love story with its fairytale ending. I went through the phase where I imagined that my 'soulmate' would resemble a pocketbook leading man - the strong, silent type who would sweep me off my feet with frequent, grand and uncharacteristically romantic gestures. Fortunately, I got through that phase safely with my ideals intact but trimmed by a dash of realism.
Every girl, at some point in her life, has fantasized about her 'destiny', her true love, the man who'd move the earth, defy distance and conquer time for her; who'll want more than anything to spend every second with her. E-ve-ry se-cond. Someone who'll tell her how beautiful and perfect she is (ehem). It's almost like a classic Julia Roberts film.
To profoundly sum up my thoughts on this in one powerful word: Crap.
Psyche had fallen that first night without having even seen Cupid. She wasn't allowed to look at him, only to feel him beside her in the dark and hear his voice, but already she knew she has met her one great love. Psyche and Cupid's tale is just that - a tale. But even this myth tells us that it's not easy. Like a misinformed love story that got it the other way around (but given that her mortality makes her the inferior one), Psyche journeyed to the ends of the earth to prove herself worthy of the god of Love.
I'm not jaded or disenchanted. On the contrary, I am a big believer in Love, more so because in the real world, it takes hard, hard work. Because the truth is, something that important, that life-altering, that earth-shattering doesn't just get handed to you on a platter. Like the knight who slays dragons first before he can rescue the lazy, sleeping princess, you have to prove your merit.
I know a number of girls who got stuck in this pitfall, always looking for that fairytale romance in their relationships, that fairytale prince in their partner. Of course, they always get disappointed and end up ruining a promising real life love story.
We must realize that:
1) Relationship, even Love, is not the same as Commitment.
2) It will never be just about the two of you.
Genuine love should not be limiting and suffocating, rather it should be a circle that expands to include those who truly, sincerely care. Wanting to have time for family and friends, even time alone, doesn't mean you no longer enjoy each other's company. It makes you human, a social creature. Not wanting to, makes you obssessive. Or insane.
3) You will never know everything. You CANNOT know everything all the time.
Accept that this is a privilege that must be willfully granted, not forcibly taken. Trust that the other person is making the right judgment on what to tell you when he tells you, if it even needs to be told. You might just be making a big issue out of nothing. As what Cupid said when Psyche stole that first look after being explicitly told not to, "Love cannot live where there is no trust."
4) You are not two pieces of one puzzle that need only to be taken side by side to match perfectly.
You are two people, two personalities, two lives who were walking on separate paths until you met at a crossroad and decided to go down one path together. You start out with your rough edges bumping and clashing until, without realizing it, Love and Commitment have made you perfect together.
5) You are not Julia Roberts. And this ain't a movie.