Originally posted as a comment on Facebook, I figured I’d save these thoughts here where I can find them again easily:
Perfect really is relative, it’s true, but I’m also thinking the perfect romantic relationship does not exist. I don’t think life’s set up that way. I sort of think you make your expectations and do your best, but ultimately, learning to love and be loved is in large part a matter of learning to forgive and be forgiven of imperfection.
But we still hope for our own personal fairy tale ending, right?
If you take out the Disney interpretations, it seem many fairy tales actually have fairly disturbing endings, not to mention plenty of evil step-parents, witches, and lonely old men. Only the luckiest live happily ever after… and even then, the stories tend to cut off just when the real story of the relationship begins.
But I think that a couple can certainly live “after the manner of happiness” regardless of how looks may fade, and regardless of how times might try. I believe romance can be created with some effort. I believe in a love that grows over time. And, I think Regina Spektor nailed it with these lyrics in The Calculation: here’s a couple who has a comfortable, happy friendship, but they’re each looking elsewhere for the spark. They didn’t even know love could be bigger than that, until:
“So we made the hard decision, and we each made an incision past our muscles and our bones: Saw our hearts were little stones. Pulled them out they weren’t beating, and we weren’t even bleeding as we lay them on the granite counter top. We beat ’em up. Against each other (…) We struck ’em so hard, so hard, until they sparked.”
Even the music in that song starts out a little quirky but ends beautifully. If you’ve got a great relationship, all the effort required to generate romance is well worth it. That’s the love I believe in.