My favorite noun / verb / concept / theme / solution / ideology / choice is “love.” I was always the girl who associated true love with grace and chivalry, red roses, epic romance, moments encompassed with emotion and depth, fairytales, and joy. I looked forward to my marriage as I knew that I would never feel sorrow as long as I had my significant other. We could face mountains of challenges, but the love we have for each other would prompt us to continue climbing.

I have never been inclined to date multiple people. I would rather spend my life with one person. I still struggle to determine whether this mentality was due to the fear of heartbreak, maturity (or the lack of it), insecurities, or all three. I have never had the desire to experience more, in this sense, because I would be perfectly happy to expand my horizons with the same partner.

Do I let go of these expectations?

During the past year or so, I have realized that they may be a tad unrealistic. I haven’t had a steady boyfriend in a couple of years and while I am very open to any opportunity that comes my way, I have learned to depend on myself for the bliss for which I had always searched in someone else. I cannot support someone else without judgment or comparison if I am not confident in my independence. This concept is of vast importance. Many of my friends are incredibly dependent on their boyfriends or girlfriends and admit to being so as well. This dependency increases in the age of social media as we expect immediate responses to every text, tweet, and direct message (though I love social media just as much as the next person). Healthy relationships stem from balance. The ability to spend weeks, or even months, without physically seeing your partner is essential due to a multitude of reasons. This ability has faith at its core. We must have faith in the love we have for one another and for ourselves. If one cannot have this small bit of faith in her relationships, she is invalidating herself as well as those who surround her.

Additionally, we tend to overanalyze every gesture that may seem the least bit flirtatious or romantic. During these occurrences, I try to remind myself to examine them from an unbiased perspective. If he cares, he will show he cares. He is showing me what he thinks I deserve from him and I should not glorify this. With each passing day, I become less of a fan of the beating around the bush tactic. I truly believe that someone who fancies me and feels strongly enough about his feelings will tell me so. If he doesn’t, I then know that our relationship would not have been worth my time or his time.

The best love stories happen naturally. Instead of actively, and perhaps frantically, searching for “the one,” we should focus on developing ourselves. We should take every situation as it comes. We should not let our careers, hobbies, friends, and other priorities go to waste for romances as the right people will be able to grow in their own paths alongside ours.

While I used to be the girl who dreamed of an amazing fairytale and do not do so anymore, I secretly hope someone will prove me incorrectly – someone who contains everything I used to dream of having.

To anyone who reads this: Embark on every journey with love. The love you spread will return back to you.

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