Cheating seems so easy to get away with nowadays. With the advent of the worldwide web, we can have multiple interests at one time, fueled by clicking through provocative pictures, late night chats, and an exchange of flirty messages via email. It’s disheartening to think that at any given point, any one of us can be replaced by someone far more interesting, far more hot, and far more intelligent — or at least that’s what they seem like on their Facebook profile. Even the shy ones can scour the net for hotties with bodies and spark up a conversation … with a simple emoticon at that. The web has become a veritable playground for roving eyes and hearts, and so we ease into a world where substitutes are readily available and our hearts become a shared space.
I’ve been dating for 14 years now (yes, even before some of you were born — *cries* *soaks dentures*) and I have had my share of relationships with all types of men. Sure I’ve dated the cheaters, but I’ve also dated great men as well. Cheating aside, finding a good man or woman nowadays isn’t easy. Some may be great on paper (great school, awesome family, and involvement in healthy activities) but a lot of them are at a mental and emotional level of a dating-zygote, lacking common relationship-sense. I know men and women who are so hell-bent on idealism, yet they don’t act on their own idealistic views. I know men and women who are set on finding their fairytale mates and yet they don’t know how to be a prince or princess themselves. I know men and women who think if a relationship isn’t perfect from the get-go it may not be worthwhile, and yet they don’t put in the effort and expect the relationship to play itself out. If not, well, maybe it wasn’t meant to be! Easy right?
This isn’t being idealistic – it’s being foolish. A lot of teenagers and young adults fall into this trap because they become so enamored with the idea of love that they may search for it in individuals who may not espouse the qualities they desire in a partner. This is why I always tell young folks to date but very casually. As sad as this is to say, dating so seriously may result in broken hearts at an early age, and multiply that by however many partners you’ll meet in your life before marriage. This is why so many people are SO bitter regarding relationships and they’re not even really old yet! Take it easy. What’s the hurry? Love is a whirlwind of a teacup ride at Disneyland — not Space Mountain where excitement comes and goes in such a short period of time.
Let go of your idealistic notions and take on a more realistic approach. I’ve come to realize with time that Idealism based on little experience and lack of effort (so many people just expect great things to happen without putting in much work) doesn’t equate to an ideal relationship/situation. You young folks don’t have so many experiences to really know but trust me. Idealism, built on experience, surety, and wisdom reaps the rewards a relationship truly deserves.
Idealism is borne from the knowledge you gain through experience. Yes, shitty experiences included. With that wisdom, you’re able to set your feet on a foundation sturdy enough to rest these ideals on. I used to feel disenchanted because my idealism had been damaged due to these harrowing experiences with the wrong men. Now, I’m glad it had been because these experiences, this hard work and persistence, have helped me to affirm the worth of my current relationship to make it ideal for me. Hell, these past relationships have helped me to realize the worth of ME. I also realized that always looking for that patch of greener grass never makes a person happy. Ideal is the person I have next to me now, not a fanciful notion of a perfect being I’ve never met or have made a checklist for.
Don’t try to make your current situation fit into a cookie-cutter mold of an ideal you’ve created in your mind. Make your current situation ideal for you.