Let's take a quick trip back to 2003 and look at a line from OutKast's smash hit "Hey Ya:"
"If what they say is, nothing is forever, then what makes love the exception?"
In a song so beloved for its joyous nature, this line resonates for its ability to make the listener question the whole concept of love and what we believe about it.
We've all heard fairytale stories before. The ones where two people meet and inevitably get separated, only to find their way back into each others arms while the world happily watches. It's a staple of American culture, and leaves many of us hung up on the idea that somewhere out there is "the one."
But what if "the one" doesn't exist?
It does not make you bitter to not believe in the idea of love. It's impossible to deny that people feel strong emotions toward each other, that's just a scientific fact. What we're talking about here though is the idea of love we have as a culture. It's this idea that you'll meet that perfect person, at the perfect time and nothing will ever change how you feel about each other.
It isn't wrong to feel like the whole concept is a little outlandish. Believing in the idea of true love goes against so many values we admire: independence, ambition, self-reliance, etc.
If you're in a relationship, you absolutely should not have the mindset that you're only with a person until you find somebody better. But, it's wrong to also think that it's impossible for you to find someone better. Keeping this in mind can be great for relationships.
You don't have to win over your SO every day a la "50 First Dates," but if you remember that a relationship is not a guarantee, it will definitely bring benefits. Maybe, you can pick up flowers on your way home from work, or you buy a card to celebrate even the smallest of achievements.
The idea of a one and only love brings along a sense of settling. Why try and put effort in, if there's no risk in losing out? But, that type of mentality would never work in any other facet of life. Would you ever walk into a job thinking "this is the best job I'll ever find and nothing can change that?"
No. It would be absurd to limit your own happiness like that.
A breakup is the best time to remember that not believing in love doesn't make you bitter, if anything it makes you positive. Love teaches people to be dependent for happiness, but someone who doesn't believe in love knows it's more important to depend on themselves for happiness.
Life is about embracing all possibilities. It's about taking chances and going places you've never dreamed of. One day, you may wake up and decide to book a trip to Paris because you have always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower.
You would never want to limit yourself by thinking you cannot do better, so why would you do it with love?