Since reading a Chaucer poem critiquing “romance” in 10th grade I realized that love isn’t all poetry and sonnets the way it is made out to be in the movies. I let go of my disney princess fantasies and sought after something real, something realistic. I told myself I could live my own fairytale without the perfect “Prince Charming” and in a sense I felt better because without my own personal prince charming it meant I didn’t need to live up to a Cinderella standard either. Regardless, my first love was pretty magical. My four year long relationship lasted my last two years of high school and first two years of college. We weren’t perfect, we fought, I cried, he cheated, I cheated, and by the end we both were not only ready to go our separate ways but we desperately needed to. Yet, I look back on the relationship with fondness. I remember laying dockside at Lake Wilderness staring into his eyes as we talked and giggled away the summer days. I remember lying to my mom saying that I was spending the night with Nicole to meet him in the forest at dusk to spend the whole night just talking and kissing in his hammock. I remember him tapping on my window after midnight and seeing candles arranged into a heart on the street outside of my window as he asked me to prom. Even though it was a love that needed to end, it was the most perfect love story I could have hoped for.
After our break up I didn’t realize how distorted my view of love had become. I knew I didn’t want to be with my first love anymore, but I didn’t know what expectations to set for any future fairytales. I couldn’t expect every relationship to be the whirlwind hippie love story I’d experienced with my high school boyfriend and thus I set out into the big bad (scary!) world of college dating feeling naive, disheveled and completely confused. I started to believe no one could see me through the rose colored glasses my first love had viewed me with. Would anyone else take the time to count each and every freckle on my face? Could anyone else look into my eyes and see them as a “kaleidoscope of greenish-gold maple leaves”? Was it possible for another to run their fingers through my frizzy mess of a mane and refer to it as silken sunshine? Who else would braid flowers into my hair, write me sweet love notes, recite poetry to me in the trees? I came to the conclusion that I would never feel the same love I’d felt before. It only seemed logical that your first love would be the most tender, the most innocent, the most magical.
I accepted that no one else would refer to the spots on my face as “fairy freckles” or find hidden images in the glints of gold in my eyes. I settled for being “pretty” and “funny” and “nice”. I settled for feeling generic, even by those who claimed to love me. I continued to view those I loved through a more poetic lense but attributed my over the top sensationalism to my affinity for words rather than the quality of love. But as of late, I’ve changed my mind.
I don’t think falling in love should feel ordinary, and I don’t think someone who is truly in love with you should make you feel generic. You don’t fall in love with someone “pretty” you fall in love with someone who radiates beauty. You don’t fall in love with someone “nice”, you fall in love with someone who, in your eyes, embodies all the goodness and light and happiness squished into a singular person. If love wasn’t supposed to inspire than how on earth would all of these songs, poems and fairytales come to be to begin with? As Blair Waldorf would say “People don’t write sonnets about being compatible or novels about shared life goals and stimulating conversations. The great loves are the crazy ones”.
I refuse to fall in love with anyone who makes me feel generic ever again.