Romance and relationships: Is it all just a façade?

Two+people+hold+hands+while+outside.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Brooke Cagle

Two people hold hands while outside.

Saige Batza, Contributing Writer

Have you ever been in a relationship and questioned if it was love at first sight? What about those of you who have never been in a relationship; what is it like for you? There are a plethora of highs and lows in mature relationships; the pros, cons and clichés that many of us have witnessed in television and the media.

Being in a relationship requires a copious amount of commitment, dedication, communication and loyalty. However, it is easy to recognize when couples are struggling with their communication, which often happens at the beginning of the relationship when they are still learning about each other. Although there are problems that every couple faces at the beginning of their relationship, it becomes easier when you figure out the best way to communicate and stay committed to your partner. You’ve heard it said before that “actions speak louder than words,” and in the case of relationships, this statement remains true. A relationship can only survive if each person is whole-heartedly willing to compromise, make sacrifices and communicate effectively.

I’ve always considered myself a hopeless romantic, as I often spend my time watching romantic comedies on Netflix and reading romance novels written by Nicholas Sparks. Since I was a little girl, I have been considered a romantic at heart.

Although I’ve only dated a few guys before and don’t have much experience with long-term relationships, I can certainly attest to being the third wheel in many of them. As my friends start to engage in serious, committed relationships with their partners, it is hard to interact with couples who are so invested in their relationships all the time, simply because you can often feel like an outsider. In my personal experience, I’ve learned to whole-heartedly embrace my friends’ relationships and support them in ways that make me feel like less of an outsider and more of an ally.

Have you ever watched a romantic movie and laughed to yourself, thinking, “This kind of love isn’t real, it doesn’t happen this way in real life.” You may think that love-at-first-sight is simply a façade made up by hopeless romantics such as myself, but I know firsthand that it is real and does, in fact, happen in real life. My parents, for instance, met in elementary school; my mom was the typical popular girl and my dad was a quiet, reserved student. Cliché, right? Well, one summer day 20 years into the future, my dad made a call to a woman he found listed in the White Pages phonebook. She answered reluctantly, and the rest was history. Fast-forward again, 25 years after their wedding day, my parents are still just as in-love as they were when they met the second time around.

My parents’ story affects my optimistic perspective about love by positioning the bar just in the right place, not too high and certainly not too low. I personally believe that my outlook on relationships stems from my parents’ ability to show a healthy amount of affection towards each other, and to me growing up alongside them. I am grateful to have learned so much about love and relationships, just by witnessing their love story everyday.

Just think – you may have already met the love of your life and you just don’t realize it.