‘Love means never having to say you are sorry’ – these words from Erich Segal’s love story are perhaps the most abused words of all time.
These words somehow propagate the myth of two bodies, one soul and a lovers’ paradise where partners are be-all and end-all for each other.
As a bright-eyed adolescent, these words and scenarios were as true for me as the fact that leaves are green and good girls wait till after marriage for you-know-what.
My understanding of romantic love came from novels and movies, which most often emphasised that you love only once, you will know when you meet the one and it is the ‘one’ which makes you complete!
Now when I look back, I understand the kind of pressure I was unwittingly putting on ‘The One’.
So much so, that when a guy started liking me and dropping hints, I started liking him back as a reflex action. Maybe I wanted to have a love story, the kind they write about in books. So much enthralled I was with the idea of that story that I didn’t even bother to check whether the ‘hero’ was really to my liking!
Even when my ‘story’ started unfolding I could not fathom why we were not always doing everything together. Not that I wanted a Siamese twin joined at the hip, but I had somehow benchmarked my relationship with all I had read and watched on the silver screen, which simply meant that if I was doing something, anything, irrespective how important or useless, he had to be in the loop and vice-versa.
Related reading: I don’t believe in love and marriage
Although I didn’t have the same views as him on a variety of issues, I started aligning my opinions with his. See, I had an unflinching belief in the law that if you are a couple you think alike!
While I could make out that things were not working, the concept of ‘The One’ made me stick to him and I grew more and more insecure. Even when he cheated on me, I thought it was a minor blip and wanted to make it work with ‘The One’. Somehow, subconsciously I was thinking that if it didn’t work out with him, there will be no one else for me. I was not looking at my relationship for what it was but rather, how it would look in a fairytale, where no matter what, the hero always comes back for the heroine.
It was only after my confidence took a beating and I suffered much heartburn and fighting that I realised that this whole concept of ‘The One’ is so flawed.
Related reading: What I learnt about love at 30…it’s over-rated
I understood that love does not mean that partners need to have an identical like, dislikes and thoughts and it definitely does not mean that you stop saying sorry and stop phasing out your family and friends from your life.
So, as I enter a new phase with much more confidence and maturity, I resolve not to make the same mistakes again.