The Real Deal

The real deal

Too many couples are disillusioned when their relationship goes up in smoke. Nobody enters a long-term relationship with the hope that it ends, do they? Sadly, most of the time the relationship ends because of the same reason: The man hoped the girl would stay the same (she didn’t) and the girl thought the guy would change (he didn’t).

As youngsters and teenagers, we all have plans and dreams of what our dream person will be like. Mostly, we focus on appearance. She must have brown hair, green eyes, long legs…. Peer pressure, junior romances and the media perpetuate the idea that finding the perfect person and falling in love is as easy as one, two, three. However, as time goes by, the starry-eyed romances make way for real-life situations and failings. Fortunately, we start finding more than one type of appearance attractive, and more importantly, we learn to focus on habits and personalities, rather than on looks alone.

With unpleasant experiences and unhappy relationships through life, we gradually learn what behaviour and character traits we don’t appreciate. We start to be more welcoming to characteristics people display and we are impressed by. Instead of looking for tall, dark and pretty, we exclude mean, smoking or married (for example) and this opens endless possibilities of what might come our way.

Bad endings and painful failures load us with baggage, but there is a good side to learning lessons the hard way. Gradually, we get to know ourselves better along the way too. We learn who we are, what we are willing to tolerate, what we will sacrifice, and what it means to be loved and what the value of being loved is. The scarcity of good relationships and the possible packages it may come in becomes something we learn to appreciate. We learn to differentiate between what is potential joy and potential harm and also learn to nip doomed relationships in the bud.

With time and experience, we move away from what we think a relationship should be, all dreamy and pie in the sky, to what it is. And what it is should be good. Good relationships should not only be about how often you talk and how often you hold hands or how much or how often the person spoils you or remembers special occasions. 

It is all about how your partner makes you feel, not only about the relationship, but mostly about yourself. Your partner should treat you kindly, with respect, should understand you, should want to spend time with you, but still allow you the space to be yourself and to be by yourself. They should be affectionate, on terms that suit you both, and they should make you feel good about yourself and about their presence in your life. They should be a positive force in your life and make it better for being in it.

When you find that person whom your parents and your friends instantly approve of, one that you can call a best friend if it wasn’t for the butterflies in your stomach, if you find the one whom you want to spend all your time with, one who accepts you the way you are and for whom you don’t have to make any changes about yourself for, One whom you can laugh with and cry with and share your deepest fears and greatest joys with and who makes you laugh your ugly laugh and makes you feel better about life and being alive, hold onto them. Even though there is a crooked tooth or an annoying habit or an ugly car or a family member you don’t like, hold onto them. You have found the real deal.