In the post-Alex dating world, I seem to be much more focused on finding a serious partner than I was in my pre-Alex single adventures. Sure, the idea of finding a relationship has usually been in the back of my mind, but back then it was more about fun than it was about finding someone who’ll stick. But now, after getting used to having that serious partner, I feel like I should be looking for the next great romance rather than just enjoying myself.
I have to wonder when I became so focused on the goal of finding one person to love forever. With every new man, every new number, every first date, the same question runs through my head: is this one it? I have no idea where this pressure came from (although my grandmother constantly asking “are you seeing anyone?” can’t help).
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For as long as I can remember, love has been the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not as if I live my life constantly searching for “the one,” but I’ve always assumed that eventually, he’d come along and we’d live happily ever after, are at least as happily as two sarcastic cynics can live.
I’m going to go ahead and blame pop culture for my romantic fixation. That’s right—MTV made me do it. Movies, music, books, television—all of these tend to put love at the epicenter of existence. Juliet died for her Romeo. Humphrey Bogart suffered for Ingrid Bergman. Even Ross and Rachel ended up together.
Consider how often films and TV shows end with a wedding. Everything leads up to it, building and building, until the two gorgeous lovers tie the knot and the credits roll. We’re left to assume that marriage was the goal and, now that it’s been reached, we can all rest easy knowing they’ll live happily fulfilled lives, just like every other married couple in the world.
As an avid movie-goer, music-lover and book-absorber, I may have marinated a little too long in this mantra.
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I don’t really put all the blame on pop culture, but I’m sure it played a part. In any case, now that I’m single again this goal just won’t fly. I need to learn how to ignore the pressure of finding “the one,” whether it comes from my grandmother or a Julia Roberts movie.
How will I do this? Who knows. I'll certainly try to concentrate more on fun and less on “where the hell is he?!”. And in the meantime, I’m definitely going to cut back on the MTV.