Last night was the culmination of what has "hooked" millions of Americans for the last few months. We watched (some yelled) as Juan Pablo made his final decision between the two lovely ladies on The Bachelor.
Think about the last three romantic comedies you've watched. I bet I can guess the plotline of each:
Girl meets Guy.
Girl is spontaneous and cute. Girl falls (either literally or figuratively).
Guy catches girl (either literally or figuratively).
Guy performs a ridiculous over-the-top stunt typically including either a self-written poem or song and a bouquet of flowers, along with a cliche speech saying "she's changed him and he's waited all his life for a girl like her."
Everything is perfect.
I can't lie. I love a good romantic comedy paired with a cheap glass of white wine every once in a while. But, what are these movies saying about the creation of a romantic relationship? Although it sounds nice to be serenaded by a handsome Ashton Kutcher look alike, it's not real life.
Before I continue, let me remind you that I am happy in my relationship. I am, in no shape or form, one of those bitter girls who hates the idea of Valentine's Day coming around or one who practically gags at the sight of PDA. Nope, I'm an advocate of love. I love love.
But, let's face it. Girls need to stop expecting wild gestures from guys and then getting angry when it doesn't happen. Hollywood films are the reason why a girl gets aggravated if she's not proposed to on top of a beautiful mountain while a plane flies by writing "Marry Me" in the clouds. If he wants to give you flowers (because he really wants to - not because Ryan Gosling told him to), that's great. Good for you - you have a good guy.
Stop expecting starlit treatment. Yes, we are women and deserve to be treated well. But so do guys. If you're going to complain about not finding your prince, ask yourself why you need it so badly. The way I see it, relationships should be about spending time with your best friend, making each other happy, trusting each other, and respecting each other. Maybe this makes me a little bit (or a lot bit) of a cornball. Either way, bring yourself back down to earth if you think your life is destined to turn into "No Strings Attached".
I love relationships. Call me corny, but I love "love". Over the last 24 hours, I've seen some of the strongest relationships and have had the honor of celebrating a marriage.
Yesterday, my family, Ryan, and I attended my cousin's wedding. (Welcome to the family, Shannon! Finally, another "Sienrukos" added to our whopping 8-person clan.) In the middle of the celebration, all of the couples were out on the dance floor. The EmCee then called out lengths of time that the couples have been in the relationship. Obviously, Ryan and I were only up there for about 17 seconds until he said "1 year of marriage or less, stand to the side." He went on and on. 10 years. 20 years. 30 years. 40. As the years grew, the couples dwindled. He got up to 50 years and two couples stayed strong. Turns out one couple had been together for 53 years, the other 54 years. The EmCee asked the 54-year-ers if they had one piece of advice for the newly married, TJ and Shannon. "Communication", said the husband. "You've got to communicate." Got it. If anyone knows how to have a strong marriage, it's these guys.
Also at the wedding, I had the pleasure of seeing my mom break out her "killer dance moves". I have never seen my mother move the way she did. At one point in the beginning of the night, she and my dad were literally the only couple on the dance floor dancing to "Up All Night To Get Lucky" (Aka the last song I ever thought my parents would dance to.) Despite the chuckles of oh-my-god-what-are-mom-and-dad-doing-up-there from my brother, sister and I, I thought about another thing too.My dad was by her side. Needless to say, my mom isn't quite Dancing With The Stars material, but it didn't matter. My dad danced with her, and he did it with a smile on his face.
Fast forward about 24 hours. I just got off the phone with my grandparents. I call them Pat and Frank. His name isn't even Frank. It's Paul. He looks like Frank from Everybody Loves Raymond. Just go with it. Yesterday was their anniversary and Pat's birthday. Since I was busy at the wedding, I lost track of days, and had to make up my phone call tonight. Pat told me what they did to celebrate: they went out to a restaurant and relaxed at home watching 3 hours of Netflix crime movies. She said "Your grandfather was so good. He sat with me the whole time and watched it all." There you go. He was there for her.
These three things, the couple married for 54 years who specialized in communication, my dad, who didn't skip a beat when it came to dancing with my mom, and my grandfather, who endured three long hours of crime movies just to make Pat happy are just tiny snippets of what I think defines a relationship. To me, relationships aren't supposed to be difficult. In fact, they should be joyful. Making a relationship joyful isn't exactly rocket science, either. It takes some very simple things to make one work.
Support. Be there for each other. Even if you think it's silly. Cheer him on when he catches a fish.
Appreciation. Thank one another for what they do.
Respect. We learn this is kindergarden, guys. It's not hard. Do it.
Trust. Without it, the relationship will crumble.
The opportunity to brag and complain. No one else wants to hear you brag or complain except your significant other (and maybe your parents), so take advantage of it. It's healthy to brag and complain once in a while.
Laughter. The best relationships are between two people who are best friends.
Say "I love you".
See? None of these are hard. In fact, we learn most of these skills at a very young age. It's up to us to follow through and actually do it. Given, there are hard times, but if we remember these simply things - bam, a joyful, beautiful, fulfilling relationship.