Love is Beyond the grasp of many without a major attitude adjustment
Few situations justify use of the word “quixotic” more than the way in which some approach the idea of romantic love, or by modern extension, marriage. Late-twenties man-child ruminating on notions of love, feel free to abort now, reader. A few recent incidents, and a well timed holiday, have brought me here.
One acquaintance (I disclaim friendship explicitly here) recently told a story about corresponding with a young gentleman by telephone, twice a week, for over 8 months, as coordinated by their parents. In his pictures, he seemed “hot”. But yet within five minutes of their first meeting, she knew “he was a dud.” His indictment? When asked his favorite ice cream, he replied, plainly, “vanilla.” My friends cackle in commiseration when they tell this story.
One friend, when rebuked by her parents for being too picky and not openminded enough, upon rejecting men by their bushels based on their profile pic, replied, “Don’t you want the best for me? You don’t want me to settle, do you?”
This concept of Settling, and the extreme fear of it, is utterly toxic. Rather than being contrarian and saying that you, yes you, should be happy with settling, I posit that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SETTLING, and therefore, put aside your spindler nightmares and retire your old maid fantasies. Are expectations of a mate required to be reasonable? If not, then let me inform you that my soulmate is a former Victoria Secret model, who gave it up not because of her love of food– no, her body is like that naturally– but rather, so that she could finish her PhD degree in nuclear engineering, who does the Times crossword in ink, who curses in Cantonese, who is quietly filthy rich. Anything less than that would be settling.
Modern romance sometimes reminds me of a lukewarm Apple product launch. There’s a checklist that’s never complete (Screen is too small, not enough space, no flash support, no multitasking / He’s not tall enough, not cute, isnt my ethnicity, there’s no “wow” factor). It’s all the same problem. Unjustifiable expectations. Love is simply over hyped.
[this post didn’t come out nearly as well as i thought it would; maybe next year will bring the definitive valentine’s day post.]