Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the "real" world: relationships 101

Reality. Sometimes I don't think people know what that is.  It's not what you see on TV. It's not what you read in a fiction novel. It's not a simulated video game. It's life. Real life. Real people. Real situations. Real relationships. But most importantly, it's not "reality" TV.  I'd have to say that reality TV is even less "real" than TV sitcoms.

I just started this book today:

I've had this book for 2 years now, but for some reason I was drawn to it this morning when I was looking at my way-too-big summer reading list.  I grabbed it, went outside with my nalgene bottle in one hand, and my iPod in the other.  I was prepared for the quintessential, lazy summer day.  When I started reading it, I was surprised by how relevant the first chapter was to my own life. (note: this is not fiction....).  The first thing Klosterman talked about in the book is people's tendency to formulate unrealistic expectations for real-life situations-namely, relationships. I'm guilty of doing this. No matter how many times I might tell you that I hate Chick Flicks except for 6 of them (P.S. I Love You, The Notebook, The Holiday, Garden State, Elizabethtown, 10 Things I Hate About You), I secretly enjoy a cheesy romance.  When life gets boring, it's kinda a fun escape to pretend that I'm the main girl in Leap Year, falling in love with a bearded Irish man.  But the problem with escaping like this, are the unhealthy expectations of reality that present themselves to people.  Girls start to believe that "prince charming" will indefinitely fall for the nerdy girl over the cheerleader, realizing that the stereotypical popular girl won't make him happy and that the love of his life has been sitting next to him in math class all throughout high school. To be honest, 3/4 of the Chick Flicks with this scenario would never happen in real life.  Most importantly, it's best to remember that these stories develop in 2 HOURS. 2!! That's not even as long as a date with one person might last.  To think that you can fall in love with the perfect stranger in 2 hours is crazy.  But yet, we still go and see these movies.  And every girl hopes that she will find a Noah of her own to build her the dream house she always wanted.
This is where every girl needs to remember that most guys are idiots. Okay, actually all guys are.  The most sensitive boy I've ever met was gay. And it's because he was gay and thinks the way girls do. This isn't to say there aren't any sensitive straight guys out there, because I'm sure there are; this is just to say that girls need to remember that the first guy they meet most likely WON'T meet their expectations.  It takes times to meet the right one.  And it takes WAY longer than 2 hours, trust me.  Girls also need to remember that guys really aren't as thoughtful as we, women, are.  Not every guy will write you letters every day when he's away at sea; not every guy will write you a song and sing it to you to show you that he loves you, and not every guy is gonna remember to hold the door open for you on your first date.  It's the sad truth.  Boys are more shallow, single-minded, and self-centered than we are.  They might not pick-up on the fact that your favorite color is purple or that you prefer dark over milk chocolate.  They probably don't overanalyze text messages like we ladies love to do. They also probably won't run into you at the mall for the first time seeing each other after HS graduation and realize they're madly in love.  This is just a fact of life.  We, women, need to remember that these fantasy situations presented to us in the form of a Nora Roberts novel or a Brat Pack movie aren't exactly the way things happen in life.  There's a lot more back story to real romances. We can't let ourselves get caught up in a fantasy land or we won't realize that a great guy is in front of us.  Boys are nervous.  You might think they are big and tough but I promise you that they fear rejection almost more than we do.  

So, the next time you go on a date, don't expect him to whisper Shakespearean quotes in your ear or slow dance with you in the middle of the road.  He's probably too nervous about kissing you at the end of the night that he forgets to open your door when he picks you up.  So here's my advice: cut the boy some slack.  Be glad he had enough guts to ask you to see a movie or go out to eat.  I'm sure he'd love to be the Noah to your Ali but don't expect him to, because these expectations make it harder for the fellas to impress us.  If he treats you well, makes you laugh, likes your mom, knows how to cook, has ambitions and hugs you when you feel sad, he's probably a keeper.  Try to remember the movies and books we know and love are fiction for a reason.  Nothing is perfect.  Lower your expectations and something great will come your way! Live in reality, not reality TV.

with love,

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