The Bright Light of Coupledom

We’ve all heard the old adage, “good things come to those who wait”. I have found it seems to resonate particulary with those on the quest for true love.

If so, then what I’m waiting for better be more than good.

You see, while that little proverb is supposed to bring us some small comfort (and granted, it does), it doesn’t specify how long we have to wait: Five more minutes? Five more days? Weeks? Months? Years?

People who quote that phrase have either, a) already gotten what they were waiting for, or b) are only five minutes, days, weeks, or months into the waiting game. Let me tell you, once you’re counting the years, it’s a lot less fun.  And as each New Years Eve, birthday, and Holiday season comes and goes, a little piece of your idealistic hope flies right out that window. (You know, the one that opens every time a door closes.)  

So we wait. And we hold on to that chance that something good will come, that Prince Charming will finally show up on his white horse and whisk us away into the sunset. (Or, in my fantasy, James Franco arrives via scooter in the streets of London and we spend the afternoon sailing down the Thames.) The question becomes not how long do we have to wait, but what are we doing while we wait?

Do you ever feel like your “real life” won’t start until you meet Mr. Right?  As if the moments leading up to your eyes locking with his are nothing more than passing shadows that will disappear into the bright light of coupledom?  I feel that way sometimes. No, let me be honest. I feel that way 85% of the time.  And the romantic in me thinks it will all be worth it, compliments of Nicholas Sparks and The Notebook. Being the maiden trapped in a tower is tragically enchanting. So what if it sets the women’s movement back a hundred years.

That leaves 15% of my time feeling not-so-sentimental. Those are the moments when I’m happy just being me: Staying out late with girl friends. Not sharing the remote. Hogging the entire bed. Cleaning only my hair from the bathroom sink. Eating cereal for dinner when I don’t feel like cooking. If you listen closely, “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child can be heard playing in the background.

Should I, should women, be satisfied with a 85/15 ratio? What if I don’t meet him until I’m thirty? If you do the math, I was happy until around the age of 4, and ever since I’ve been living the waiting game, viewing each moment as only a stepping stone in my path to find true love. Have I contracted tunnel vision? Have I been so concentrated on only one thing that I’ve missed out on the chance to experience everything else life has to offer?

I know the answer is yes.

I’ve tried 100% living. I have sworn off the hope of ever finding love, happines, and meaning through a significant other. I’ve thrown myself into new hobbies, banning chick-flicks, and trashing my Michael Buble CD’s. I’ve shunned all things pink, composed lists of reasons why men aren’t worth the time, and have avoided the mirade of wedding-themed reality shows on TLC. I convinced myself that the “bright light of coupledom” was nothing more than a 30 watt bulb casting an insignificant glow onto a peron’s frivilous existence.

These actions led me to the other extreme. All I thought about, all I could dwell on, was finding love. I willingly put myself through the ringer, watching movie after heart-wrenching-Lifetime movie, replaying scenes from Titanic and Love, Actually. The amount of tissues I purchased probably provided raises to dozens of Kleenex employees. My taste in music transitioned from Green Day and Aerosmith to the morose melodies of Dave Matthews, David Gray, and country music. That glow of the “bright light of coupledom” shone so resplendent in my mind, that every good moment I experienced was dulled into oblivion.  

Okay, let’s ditch the 100% philosphy What if I could just reverse those other numbers?

[That’s a tall order for someone living in perpetual happiness limbo, someone whose mood and self-worth revolve around potential prospects.]

To be 85% content with the current “state of things” and only 15% holding onto the promise of something more? I think it’s a very good ratio. How do I plan on achieving this? More to follow soon.