With the break up of multiple self-proclaimed “soul mates” in Hollywood over the last few months, I have been forced to look at my own fairytale ideas of romance. I have followed many Hollywood romances over the years, clinging onto every, “she’s my angel”, “he completes me”, and winona forever tattoos as though they were the typical standards for love. I have found that my search for perfection in love paralleled my obsessive dieting and workout regimens. Both turned out to be unsustainable. As I have attempted to constantly remind myself that it is impossible to look like the airbrushed models in the glossy pages of Vogue, I have had to also remind myself that my love life will never resemble those of Brad and Angelina, or Brad and Jen, or Brad and Gwyneth. All of those images, quite frankly, are not real.
From the tender age of god knows what I had always believed that there was a “love at first sight” sort of soul mate out there for me. I felt that the second I laid eyes on the perfect man, my heart would explode, my self hatred would be healed and i would coast through the rest of my life gathering daisies and lilacs in fields of joy. My first experience with “love at first sight” ended with him cheating on me when I wouldn’t sleep with him at the mature age of 14. My second experience left me being abandoned at his prom. My third left me with the ego lifting knowledge that he found my best friend way more attractive than me. And the fourth left me with a broken heart so irreparable I….well let’s just say I just recently recovered from it 13 years later. I pursued this nonexistent standard of love like I did my weight. While believing that I could find a “perfect” size, I slowly withdrew from life starving myself to a slow and lonely death. While believing that I could find a “perfect” love, I slowly withdrew from life, starving myself from any emotional nourishment that could actually survive beyond the seven year itch.
It is actually the recent seven year break ups of Heidi and Seal, Ashton and Demi, and JLo and Marc that made me realize that real love doesn’t happen like it does in the papers or in the movies or in fairytales. Perhaps all that time spent declaring one’s insane love, recording songs and twittering butt shots would be better spent slowly beginning to get to know one another. Perhaps instead of a crash diet of love videos, lavish weddings every year, and the constant chatter of great sex, one would feel better being nourished with a steady diet of curiosity, hard work and steadfastness. Maybe it doesn’t sound as exciting to you, but after seven years with my man by my side through my ups and downs and I his, I feel unbelievably healthy, strong and inspired. A great change for me after years of shame, weakness and fear. It hasn’t been the easiest journey but it certainly been an amazing one. I have experienced things I never thought possible and laughed to the point of exhaustion. I have yelled in anger and cried in joy. The high I feel isn’t that of a synthetic drug, but the warmth of a much needed hug. And I can honestly say that after experiencing something far from what I ever pictured in my head and far from any glamorous romance in a magazine, I have found a soul mate.