Our grandparents and even many of our parents married young because of financial necessity. Women needed men to leave their home and begin their adult lives. Finding love was a no-nonsense task with a deadline. If you couldn’t find your soulmate at their senior prom you settled for a benefactor garnished with a penis.
Modern women don’t have to make the same sacrifices. Women have much more freedom to invest in their education and career before settling into marriage. Both men and women have more time to expand their social networks and date around. With more opportunities to meet potential mates it seems like finding true love is possible with patience. If we have a choice we don’t want to settle for anything less than soulmate.
We are completely overwhelmed by this possibility of love that our present time promises. The longer we spend waiting in lines for our morning coffee, sifting through online dating “matches,” and scanning people we don’t really know on Facebook, the more we desperately hope to find a real connection– the “one.” We want to believe that someday we won’t have to choose because we’ll find the person we are meant to be with.
Even with all of our disillusionments about relationships, many people still subscribe to the fairytale notion that there is one person for everyone– whether they admit to it or not. We’re jaded beyond recognition yet tear up during Pride and Prejudice and wonder when fate is going to deliver a haughty charmer like Mr. Darcy. We daydream a fairytale, or worse– a romantic comedy.
We grow up in a fog of this fantasy. We convince ourselves that we cannot truly be happy until we find someone who completes us. However, no one person can make us feel whole, and we shouldn’t wait around for a fantasy of fulfillment. Instead of obsessing about finding someone to love we should take the extra time to get to know ourselves and find out what we love. After all, the people we get in relationships with reflect how we feel about ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves and know what makes us happy, how can we expect someone to give us love and make us happy? I for one am glad that I have more time than my senior prom to make countless mistakes with men and become more secure with myself. Then perhaps I will meet someone, or someones.