I was having drinks with a girlfriend last night — because gabbing about life over wine is my favourite pastime — and when it came around to the topic of boys she mentioned that she was comfortable settling. Just like that, as if settling wasn’t something we’d been advised against our whole lives. Why would I settle when I could have big, huge, life altering love? Because some people have stopped believing the stories the movies sell us.
The truth is in the world we live in today a grand romantic gesture would probably end up as fodder for blogs and columns like mine if you’re lucky, and if you’re not it might get you arrested or facing a restraining order. If Say Anything were set in the present day Lloyd Dobler would never win over Diane Court the movie would end with Diane jetting off to England with a hot hipster she barely knew and Lloyd would be left alone at home wondering why girls don’t ever like, ‘nice guys.’
But even if the grand romantic gestures we grew up watching, and believing in, on TV and in the movies are of the past why should we settle for someone who we only kind of love? Are we just so lonely in our big digital world that we’ll settle for someone who meets all the basic partner requirements? He has a good job, he treats you well and maybe he knows how to satisfy you in bed; do you also have to love him in that big epic way too? That seems like an incredibly tall order; at least it does to my friends who’ve given up, who’ve resigned themselves to finding someone so they don’t have to be alone rather than finding someone who makes their hearts flutter.
It may be because I’m in love now, it may be because I’ve been in love before but I hate the idea of settling just so you don’t have to be alone. I have a partner who sets my world on fire and I want that for everyone else; even if you have to wait for the next 15 years it’s better to wait and find someone who makes you smile than settle for someone who, ‘will do, for now.’
It took a long time for me to believe in love again after the Big Ex left me, it was such a shock to my system, I remember sitting on the couch repeating the words I’d heard in movies and TV shows before, “No. I don’t agree to that. We’re not breaking up.” As if I had some say in what he did next. It always worked in the movies, she could always get him back, and it was never final; that time, it was. After that I wanted to settle, I didn’t care if I didn’t know his name and he was only there for a night, I just wanted a companion and a good time. I threw myself into my work and I stopped looking for love there were a few that came before Boyfriend that brought me out of the darkness, only to throw me right back into it.
Until the night that I met that silly, nerdy boy in line for a movie and everything changed. It’s OK to settle for a while but my big romantic heart still believes that every one eventually finds their match, sometimes it’s not what you’re expecting and sometimes it takes a lot longer than you’d like but it happens.