The universe does not owe you love. The universe doesn’t owe you anything.
I spent my entire life assuming that I would grow up, find a guy who understands me to my very core and treats me with respect and love, and live happily ever after. It’s what society and life promised us. Whenever I would wail that I’m going to be single for the rest of my life, people always jump to defend the happily ever after, saying that I’m so young and I don’t need to worry.
And it’s true — I’m only 21 years old and although I’ve had nothing but the worst luck in love, I realize that I am young and that there are years for me to grow and develop. Maybe it’s not a lost hope. But through all of the terrible guys I insist on dating and texting back, I have this hope in my head that one day I will find the one who treats me well and understands me to the core.
This isn’t necessarily going to happen. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a guy out there who could be my other half, my perfect match. It just means that the way life happens, I won’t know him when I see him. And it could be too late. Love isn’t always incredibly obvious at first sight. The person who would be perfect for you could be right in front of you. And yet, if you’re dating shmucks and wasting your time with them, he could waltz in and out of your life without you even knowing it. Take Pam and Jim from The Office. Happily ever after right? We all knew they were perfect, and yet Pam was stuck with Roy. Roy was a terrible fiancé to Pam. Thank goodness she finally realized it in the end and called off the engagement.
But let’s imagine what would have happened if things had gone the other way. If Pam decided that Roy was good enough for her, that maybe one day he would finally grow into the man she needed him to be, and married him, she would have spent the rest of her life (or until a very painful and lengthy divorce) married to Roy. He would have continued to take her for granted and treat her the way he always had been. Jim would have found someone else, and then Pam would spend the rest of her unhappy life wondering why the universe dealt her such a bad hand and why she couldn’t have a sweet, funny and caring guy who treated her with the utmost respect and adoration.
There is a quote that haunts me to today — “What you are someday going to be, you are now becoming.”
I always have this idea of what my future is going to be like. That one day I am going to wake up and I will have that perfect body, and the adorable children, and doting husband. My house will be clean and I’ll have the energy and motivation to do exciting things other than sit on my couch and watch trashy TV shows. And it’s true — sometimes we do grow up and out of bad habits. But if my life and search for my perfect man involves flirting with beautiful strangers I meet on Saturday nights and hoping for the best, it shouldn’t be too surprising that my life path isn’t headed where I expect it’ll be. How do we ever expect to get to a certain place if we don’t take the right actions now?
My friend was struggling with boyfriend problems. Their relationship was full of apathy and neglect. He hadn’t been very kind to her; he was using her deepest insecurities and past traumatic experiences as weapons against her. And yet she couldn’t break up with him. And he wouldn’t break up with her. They both knew they were not good for each other, or were each other’s soul mates, and yet they stayed together out of nostalgia for past, better days, and the possibility of a comfortable future where they never have to go through the agony of breaking up and having shared custody of the dog.
I’ve had some guys in my life treat me with less than an ounce of respect. I’ve put up with it, hoped for the best and that if maybe I did things a little bit differently, they would see the light and how great we could be together if they just weren’t a fucking inconsiderate dickhead. Fortunately, none of them ever stuck around. But what if one day, one of these days I find that guy who always keeps me needing more, who puts his own interests ahead of ours and just can’t quite stop texting that girl who’s just a friend. But then again, as Adrien Field wrote, “a love affair doesn’t feel real unless there is tension and a little bit of torture involved.”
If I accept that, then that is my fate. People are unhappy in their jobs- but don’t have the courage to quit them. What if that’s the best they’ll ever do? What if they have to be jobless for a while until they find something that makes them happy? It’s the same thing in love- we realize when we aren’t in good relationships. We know. And yet somehow putting up with all of the problems and unhappiness is sometimes easier than dealing with being alone and having to go through the horrifying process of dating all over again.
The decisions we make today affect us in the future. If we don’t want to end up with an asshole that doesn’t treat us the way we want – or even a partner who simply isn’t just the right one, then why do we let them into our lives? The Universe doesn’t promise us love. For the hopeful and the romantic, the chance of finding that person will always be out there, but if we settle for less, then we forfeit that chance and our right to complain about our unfortunate hand that we were dealt. We accept our own fate.