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Sep 2013 13

by Laurelin

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. As tough as I make myself out to be, when it comes down to it, I have always believed in the concept of love really being all you need in life. I have never been able to understand women who married for money or notoriety; how can you look yourself in the mirror every day? Growing up I loved fairy tales; I always listened, unable to sleep until happily ever after. I suppose I still believe that’s a thing, happily ever after. Or is it?

As my 31st birthday approaches I am acutely aware that I am not where I thought I would be by this age. I am not married, I don’t own a house, I don’t have kids, I don’t have money saved – hell, I don’t even have a boyfriend. Am I broken? Has believing in something perfect turned me off to something realistic?

As the minutes tick by and turn to hours that turn to weeks that turn to years, I’m wondering, does that fairy tale still exist? Is love all you really need, or is stability something that I should be looking for as well? I have always found comfort in looking back on my dating history. I have loved so many types of people: tall, short, fat, hairy, bald, muscular… Some have been drop dead gorgeous, other have left my friends wondering if I had gone temporarily blind. Either way, I have always loved every single one of those men. I don’t care one way or another what they looked like or what they had to offer besides their love – and I have never, ever been sorry.

Are things different now? Should I be worried if someone I care for isn’t perfect on paper? Is love really just… enough? My favorite love story of all time is Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. For those who haven’t read it, it’s about a boy who falls in love with a girl at a young age. She is everything to him, and she eventually breaks his heart, and he is ruined. The story takes you through his whole life with her, without her, his life thinking of her, getting over her, running into her years later (just like we all run into ex’s), and in the end, they somehow wind up together. Years pass, lives change, marriages happen and decay, children, jobs, family… Life happens. And in the end, they just knew it was love the whole time. It’s perfect. Is that the way it could all be? Or is it just that, a tale woven by an author in the 1860s?

It doesn’t matter either way. I find that no matter what I tell myself, no matter what I feel like I should do, my heart is always going to lead the way. I don’t care if you don’t have any money, I don’t care if you don’t have the perfect job. I don’t care if you’re a 30-year-old bartender, a broke ass writer, or a fancy pants pro-wrestler on TV. When it comes to matters of the heart, I will always be that hopeless romantic.

As black hearted as I feel sometimes there is always that hope, that faith that love is simply enough. I am lucky to have loved deeply in my life, and I know what it is, and what it’s capable of. As 31 approaches, I don’t feel lost in love at all. I feel in control, like I won’t settle for anything but head over heels, totally blind, never ever looking back love. And that is anything but hopeless.

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