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When I Understand Happily Ever After Doesn’t Exist, I Start To Understand Love

When I Understand Happily Ever After Doesn’t Exist, I Start To Understand Love

Have you been having a hard time with love lately? Maybe you’re wondering where the spark in your relationship went or why your last relationship ended so badly. If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably been hoping for the perfect relationship. The one without any disagreement, the one that’s all smiles and laughs and hugs and kisses.

You’ve been hoping for this because that’s what you’ve been told to expect. Do you remember all those fairy tales you read as a child? Remember how they all ended with, “and they lived happily ever after”? Well, guess what? That just wasn’t true. We were all lied to. Let that sink in for a minute.

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If you’ve been waiting for your happily ever after and it just isn’t coming, there’s an explanation. Keep reading…

“Happily Ever After doesn’t exist…”

Romantic relationships are not magically fairy tales with happily ever after endings. And if you go into a relationship with this idea, you’re setting yourself up for failure. That’s because the idea of romance and love changes the longer you’re together. Lots of people think that this changing romance signals the end of the relationship, but that simply isn’t true.

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For example, Mark Manson asked for relationship advice from couples who had been happily married for 10 years or longer. One of the respondents, Paula, had this to say: “You are absolutely not going to be absolutely gaga over each other every single day for the rest of your lives… You’re even going to wake up some morning and think, “Ugh, you’re still here….” She goes on to say that sticking through this feeling is important because it’s only temporary. Some days you’ll be hit with so much love for your partner that you won’t know how to react. And that kind of love continues to grow over time. [1]

Remember, nothing is perfect. All the irrational love you felt at the beginning of your relationship will wear off and become something different. True love is having the confidence that you can make mistakes and be an imperfect human and at the end of the day, you and your partner still choose each other. [2]

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“True love is choosing to accept someone even if you can’t fully understand them.” – A Beautiful Mind

Don’t be confused. Just because you accept your partner and all of their faults doesn’t mean that you fully understand them. And they almost certainly do not fully understand you. But, none of this matters because you have chosen this person as your life partner. Accepting this person and making this choice doesn’t come out of need, but rather out of want. You choose to be with this person because you genuinely like and respect them.

“Life isn’t always romantic. Sometimes it’s realistic.” – Ezra Fitz, Pretty Little Liars

If you are in a relationship for the happily ever after, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to know true, unconditional love. True love is making a conscious decision to be committed to just one person. It happens when your commitment is not dependent on your present situation in life. You know that this person will not always make you happy and the opposite is also true. But, this is the person that will be there for you when life gets difficult and who will rely on you in turn. There is no happily ever after and the moment you accept that, you will begin to understand what love really is. Unconditional love is difficult, especially when the butterflies in your stomach disappear. In fact, as Mark Manson puts it, “It’s unglamorous.” [3] Despite this, true love brings meaning and happiness to your life.

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Featured Image Credit: Couple on the Beach via Josh Willink

Featured photo credit: Josh Willink via pexels.com

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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