I made a bad joke the other day. A friend said "I need to talk to you about something." I said "you aren't divorcing so and so, are you? Cause for real, everyone I know is calling it quits." She actually WAS getting a divorce. Oopsie daisy...Insert foot in mouth HERE. Only brought it up cause I'd received maybe 20 notifications of some sort or other that relationships were coming to an end recently. It seemed simply unfathomable that yet ANOTHER one bites the dust. How could this happen??
Maybe it's just the age at which we all find ourselves (ripe old age of early to mid 30's) where we're simply having our midlife crises earlier than our predecessors. Maybe we've SEEN our friends in their 40's and 50's going through hell upon realizing they not only don't love their significant other, they can't actually stand the sight of them. They simply hate each other with every cell in their being. And are not willing to pretend otherwise for one more second. We ALL know the couple where it's ALL too awkwardly apparent that they absolutely despise each other... On the other hand, we ALL know the couples who are pretty much apathetic to one another. Not even having the passion left to dislike the other person. So worn out, they are resigned to a life of blocking out whatever their REAL feelings may be, in favor of acceptance of the status quo.
But, at some point, the rubber hits the road. At some point, we are forced to deal with the reality of our love (or lack thereof) lives. Maybe we're just speeding up the process here. Maybe we're just not settling like so many have done before us. Whatever it is, 2012 is a significant year for breakups (in my highly scientific observational methodologies...including nothing but noting people I know breaking up with reckless abandon). LONG-term relationships too. Not inconsequential decisions being made here.
Why? Who knows? Maybe everyone is simultaneously waking up to the fact that life's too short to be unhappy. Maybe the fairy godmother of relationships has rained down her wisdom on us all and enlightened us to the fact that we DON'T need to settle. As a movie I saw recently put it so eloquently, "Some people settle down, some people just settle." Maybe all those "settlers" woke up to the fact that they're allowed to fall out of love. They're allowed to be a different person than they were ten years ago. They're allowed to seek out the love of their life, someone inspiring. Someone who get's them up in the morning. Someone they adore, not just in a fleeting way but lastingly, throughout the years. It's not outside of the realm of possibility, and maybe, we are the generation of people GOING for it. Regardless of the costs. The safety net withdrawn, the cold comfort of day to day life no longer even a remote possibility. Maybe we refuse to succumb to the old adage "the devil you know, versus the devil you don't."
Maybe we are the generation of hope. Hope for a better relationship, a better future than our predecessors. A love that withstands the tests of time, a love that delights in each others' presence. A love that appreciates and accepts us for who we are (however eccentric we may be) and enjoys the little quirks that make us...well, US. A marriage of neither convenience or inconvenience, but a marriage of true love.
Are we a generation of dreamers? Maybe. But I, for one, don't see anything wrong with that. The statistics are stacked against us, but really, who gives a shit? That's what life's all about, isn't it? Hoping to beat the odds. To persevere, through the jaded culture of relationships we find ourselves in today. To be swept away...not just for a time, but forever.
One example comes to mind. My quasi uncle (who passed away WAY too soon) was married to the love of his life (and hers). At his funeral, it was noted that after 30 years into their marriage, he was STILL trying to court her. Still trying to woo her affection. Not because she didn't love him to pieces. Just because he was somehow STILL in that love-struck mode. Where you appreciate everything and anything that person is or does. Which is AMAZING. And you could SEE it. In their interactions. The way they danced together. The way they looked at each other. It was real. It was inspiring. It still is. It was the way all true love should be. It was beautiful.
Now, I'm not saying that all relationships are peaches and cream ALL the time, everyone hits bumps in the road, but if we could at least HOPE to find true love at some point in our lives....Princess Bride style, we'd be a better race altogether. (Inconceivable? We HOPE not.)