Love, one of the most overused words, is also probably one of the least understood. Most people, like me, have grown up watching all the typical romance movies that are popular across the entertainment industry. The girl, hopeless, is looking for someone to save her from her monotonous life. And that’s when her knight in shining armor enters and she falls head over heels for him. The basic storyline we have watched a thousand times, but still don’t get bored of.
But do these stories have more impact than just entertainment? The perfect story where everything happens at the perfect time, everyone says the perfect thing, building up to the perfect ending. Movies have a fixed ending for and their characters’ stories, but real lives continue, even after the audience leaves. Does this perfection work in real life? Of course not.
Some might argue that these stories are written as an escape from reality. However, these books and stories affect us more than we might comprehend. My standards have skyrocketed because of them. Nearly everyone has read or watched the classic “Pride and Prejudice” by one of the most celebrated authors in history, Jane Austen. Her amazing romances encapsulating the nitty-gritties of love and happily ever after are still adored. These characters are so impactful that they have become the portraits for the expression of love.
But do you know Jane Austen never got married? An author who detailed these concepts and reiterated them in a number of her books was writing most of this without ever actually experiencing the constructs of matrimony. This brings me to the most important question: could her decision not to marry be associated with the unrealistic standards of love she perceived?
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Most people, like me, have grown up looking at these examples of love that are meant to be fictional narratives. However, due to the repetitive viewing of these storylines, we come to accept these as the normal standard, leading to us to never feeling content with what we have and expecting more. We keep waiting for our Romeo, our perfect match, our soulmate, to find us and sweep us off our feet instantly. The fairytale ending is our most desired wish.
However, real-life love is far from perfect. It's filled with complexities these stories often overlook. Real life involves embracing your own and others’ shortcomings and adjusting your standards. Waiting for a perfect match or expecting constant grand gestures can lead to discontent and frustration. Instead, appreciating the imperfect but meaningful aspects of a relationship is crucial for finding genuine happiness in love.
Prakriti Khurana (she/her) is a sophomore studying finance.