Updated: Mar 28, 2019
When is the last time you saw a movie about someone just being married 8 years, living in the suburbs, driving a Honda minivan, eating corn-flakes for breakfast and raising thier kids together?
Or an affair NOT being the answer to problems?
Or a real life depiction of what happens after a wedding?
Cindi and I have been married for 17 years at the time of writing. Like all married couples, during that time we have had to work on areas within ourselves, and constantly work on our marraige. Admittedly, I have had a lot more to work on than Cindi!
To me, the journey of forging a marraige is a beautiful mess. It’s not always postcard perfect. There are words spoken in anger. Hurtful actions. Communication breakdowns. Money pressures. Family issues. But it’s all of that - the complex; the difficult; the adversity - that gives meaning to the journey. It adds depth. It many ways, it builds true love.
When we look into each other’s eyes and say 'I love you', it is not in ignorance to our weaknesses, but in transcendence to them. Our love for each other is greater than anything we have walked through.
Yet, our culture would have you and I believe that all of that real life stuff is not romantic.
Have you ever noticed this - that almost every portrayal of love and romance in media is about the STARTING point of a relationship?
Sleepless in Seattle (Cindi’s favorite). The Notebook. Titanic. Nothing Hill. La La Land. Crazy Rich Asians.
They are predominately boy meets girl. The romance of falling in love.
What about reality TV shows? The Bachelor and Bachelorette. Attractive young people dating in exotic locations. I wonder why we don’t watch a show about a middle aged couple trying to figure out how to juggle family life and careers, fit in some excercise, cook dinner, and squeeze in some time for each other?
A little less... romantic, isn’t it.
And that’s my point. We have misunderstood romance.
Anyone can meet. In fact, anyone can marry. Starting a relationship is easy.
We have been celebrating the wrong thing. We should celebrate staying more than starting.
Don’t fall for the narrative that true romance is giving a diamond ring, and planning the perfect ceremony. True romance is building a marraige that stays, through the storms, through life’s great seasons, through the journey.
STAYING is more romantic than STARTING.