Came across this essay in the Financial Times by Alain de Botton on how fictional representations of love can potentially ruin the real thing.
I didn’t date until I was 25, mostly because my years before were filled with crushes on celebrities and fictional characters ranging from Edward Norton to Anime cartoons. I’ve come a long way…I think, except for the moments during certain arguments with Tom, when I backtrack and think, “If Tom and I are meant for each other, why are we having another argument about _(insert topic here, involving anything from domestic inanities to personal values).”
Because, as Botton points out, very few people are “meant” for each other.
“…for most of us, our life’s problem isn’t finding a partner (that’s just one very important and at points thrilling phase), it is tolerating the candidate one eventually finds, and being tolerated by them, over time.
“A wiser culture than ours would recognize that the start of a relationship is not the high point that romantic art assumes; it is merely the first step of a far longer, more ambivalent and yet quietly audacious journey on which we should direct our intelligence and scrutiny.”
Makes sense to me, which is why I like Botton and why I’m marking my calendar to preorder his new book, an un-Romantic novel, The Course of Love, out on June 14th.