Mind Games: Why Love Doesn't Always Happen The Way You Think It Will

Love is confusing, and it is consuming. No love is ever the same as another.

Many of us, including myself, realize there are many different degrees of love, and though each degree is very different, each is wonderful and messy all the same.

One aspect of love, though, has taken me 21 years to begin to fathom. This new angle of love is a more realistic view.

I have recently realized that just because two people love each other, does not mean they should or will end up together.

Don’t get me wrong; I am probably the biggest hopeless romantic there is, and ironically, I think it is that very characteristic in myself that led me to this conclusion.

Our whole generation grew up watching romantic movies. Our obsession with love stories starts earlier than we even realize when we begin to watch fairytales.

Princesses would fall in love with their prince, and at the end of each and every one of these movies or stories, true love always won.

No matter what obstacles the characters had to endure, the two lovers ended up together because love was more powerful than anything else.

Many of us then carried this notion into our own lives: “What is meant to be will be.”

Many people, including myself, use this quote throughout our lives, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. I have grown up being taught to believe love will always win, so that is exactly what I trusted in.

I thought for a fact that if two people truly loved each other, the universe would work with them, and they would be together.

Recently, though, my view has changed. Through stories from loved ones and their tales of “the one that got away,” and from my own personal experience, this notion that love would always win started to dwindle.

I still whole-heartedly believe in love, and I still believe that sometimes two people can be pulled together, almost gravitationally, by the universe.

And, up until recently, I would have done just about anything to defend the sheer force that is love. The difference now, though, is I know just because two people "should" be together, does not mean they really will be.

Sometimes, life really does get in the way. In a lot of cases, I think people use this line as an excuse, but once in a while, it is a valid explanation.

People have their own ambitions, their own plans. I know firsthand that, sometimes, the pull to fulfill your passions outweighs the pull you feel toward another person.

I also know I would never allow someone to put his or her life on hold for me. I would not want that type of inevitable resentment placed upon my shoulders.

So, this “new” angle of love I recently came into displays exactly the opposite of tying someone down.

I have found that when two people love each other, sometimes the most loving gift you could give is the gift of freedom.

Let people live their lives as they intend, and let yourself live your life without constantly imagining where you might be had you two ended up together.

Letting go of a love you thought would define your whole life does not mean you haven’t tried. It doesn’t mean you will stop thinking about someone, or wondering what he or she is feeling.

Letting go of someone does not mean your love is lost.

What it does mean is two people sometimes gravitate toward each other magnetically; they form a bond that is bigger than the two. And that bond alone makes you feel as though you are universally meant to be together.

But, sometimes, things are not black and white.

I have found, sometimes, the very history that holds two people together can also rip them apart in the same breath.

Relationships get convoluted by so many variables, and often, the ins and outs of life can make a relationship difficult.

But, if it begins to get too difficult, or if this is overwhelming, seemingly forbidden love becomes more stressful than it is blissful, you know it's time to free yourself from it and from the person.

I want to make very clear that I have not, in any sense, grown cynical of love.

I also recognize that I, and many of you, are extremely young, and to say I am sure of anything in this life would be a blatant lie.

I am simply acknowledging my new recognition for the fact that, despite what I want to believe, there is no unwritten law that states two people who are meant to be together will end up together.

If, in my life, the "forbidden" love triumphs in the end, I will laugh at the fact that I ever doubted it in the first place, as should you.

But, if it doesn’t, we have to remind ourselves it doesn't make the love any less magical or deserving. It just had a different purpose.

We will have learned a new angle of the ever-mystical act that is love, and that alone makes the experience worth it.