Love’s grand, isn’t it? Love stories are even better. They’re so predictable. The protagonists fall in love, and then they go through a series of trials and tribulations intended to strengthen their love, and eventually allow them to live out the rest of their lives together. I mean, why watch the movie or read the story otherwise?

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There may be other, minor, characters who make the mistake of falling for either protagonist. They’re fated to suffer a little heartache; very slight, mind you, because their love wasn’t as deeply felt as that of the heroine and hero. Obviously.

Whether this idea has humble, religious beginnings or is a perpetuation of an insanely clever marketing scheme, we’re all convinced of The One. Clearly, this mythical creature doesn’t deserve capitalization and thus will be referred to as the one from this point forth.

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We love love, and we adore love stories because they promise us an effortless happy ending. They teach us to become passive participants in our own lives. By us, I mostly mean those of the female persuasion. The male in any love story is only present to facilitate the needs and wants of the female. Alas, we’ve become conditioned to expect the same treatment from real men as we do from reel ones.

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You can scoff, you can shake your head; you can sneak a peek over your favorite book, hoping to catch the eye of a fellow enthusiast. You can’t deny it. You’d think in today’s day and age we’d know better than to nurture the hope that we’ll run into the one on a coffee run when we least expect to. That’s how it works though. Most of us, no matter how independent, are waiting for our love stories to play out.

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As is the case with self-fulfilling prophecies, they will. Not because the universe conspired to make it happen, though. It’s more likely on account of you stalking their online profile and ‘accidentally’ running into them now and then to discover how similar your tastes are. Then you try your best to keep that love, because it’s true love and that means forever.

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It’s a sad truth, but many of us choose supposed true love over opportunity because of this learnt belief of the one. We’re living out 20th century standards which dictate that we must all be romantically linked to another person in order for our lives to be complete. The fantasy of one confessing their most ardent admiration shouldn’t be confused with our expectations of reality.

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I’m not saying that we should all live solitary lives until we reach self-actualization – rather not let any one person become our life, our raison d’être. At the end of the day, we’re all going to do whatever makes us happiest in that moment. Still, the time you’d spend falling apart over someone’s actions or lack thereof could be better spent learning elegant sounding phrases you can throw around at parties to seem sophisticated.

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So the next time any of us indulges in a tear-jerker of the romantic variety, let’s try to keep our heads and remember that as the heroines of our own stories, the duty falls to us to suck the marrow out of life and avail every opportunity that falls our way. Come hell or high water!

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