Why Our Search For A Spark Makes Us Write Off People Who Are Good For Us

by Candice Jalili

I love me a good rom-com. Who doesn’t?

Okay, lots of people don't, I know. But I know I'm not ALONE in saying that I love a good rom-com.

The problem with my deep love for rom-coms, however, is that it’s given me a sort of complex. Because in real life, people don’t look like Bradley Cooper and Katherine Heigl. A love story in real life isn't condensed into an hour and a half; it's long and complicated and hard -- and lots of times, we don’t just have one love story. We have many.

But many of us -- including me -- are so busy chasing a fantasy love life that we forget to stop and take advantage of all of the great things that enter our lives when we least expect them.

We're so focused on "the man of our dreams" that we ignore the great men standing right in front of us.

The problem with the man of our dreams is that he exists solely IN OUR DREAMS. He’s not real. He’s nothing more than a figment of our (and possibly Nicholas Sparks’s) imagination.

Needless to say, chasing something that does not exist in real life is rather challenging.

We’re so hungry for raw attraction that we ignore potential.

This longing for raw attraction stems right from the need to fall hard and fast. Nobody falls quickly for someone who's not physically attractive on first sight. So we write off perfectly decent guys just because we don't want to jump their bones the minute we spot them from across the room.

We’re so eager to fall hard and fast that we don't give ourselves time to fall in love.

Our problem is that we want something instantly. We don’t want to take the time to fall in love; we want to take one look at someone and know he's it.

We’re looking for the guy who made us feel hot and heavy the second we spotted him from across the room. We're looking for the guy who swept us to Paris for the first date because he just knew we were worth it.

But those moments don’t mean love. Love is that moment 20 years from now and at two in the morning, when you turn over and know that the person lying next to you is your best friend in the whole wide world.

Those other moments are lust. Lust is the start of something. Love is that something.

We’re so sure about what we want that we forget how to embrace the uncertainty.

We want to have that moment when we see him and just know: One look at this hunk, and there is no doubt in your mind that this is the man of your dreams. Never again will a doubt cross your mind about a love this real.

But, like the fantasy dream man we're chasing, this feeling is fake. It doesn’t exist.

And even when it does, it doesn’t last for long. Real love means letting yourself doubt. It means feeling those nervous butterflies and embracing that scary uncertainty. It’s letting yourself ask questions and giving your love time to answer.

We’re so sold on the idea of perfection that we refuse to embrace flaws.

Oh, he’s hot, funny, smart, nice and loves your family, but he was NOT raised in the same town as you?!?! BYE!

We're so incredibly preoccupied with checking boxes on our checklists that we won’t alter them in the slightest. But when it comes to love, "perfect" can never belong in a list. Perfect is a way a person makes you feel.

We’re so distracted by the happy ending that we don't give the story room to play out.

We all want the happy ending. We want the happily-ever-after, the “I love you,” the fireworks and the conga line at the wedding. We want the kids and the grandkids and the laughs and the love.

Why do we want that? Because that’s how all our favorite movies end. They all end with the happy ending.

But part of what makes the happy ending so happy in all of those movies is that there was an entire story that built up to them. There were ups and downs.

We're so concerned with finding that final high that we forget to ride out the journey leading up to it.

We're so fascinated by the concept of “the one” that we refuse to give all the other "ones" a chance.

That’s why you’re still so hung up on your ex, eh? Because he was supposed to be "the one." He was supposed to be THE love of your life. If that didn’t work out, then there’s no hope for anyone else, ever.

But that’s all one giant load of sh*t. We all don't need to have ONE person we're destined to be with for the rest of our lives. You could have had a "one" who was perfect for that moment, and now you can have someone else who is just right for this one.

Don’t let one person cancel out the other.

We’re so obsessed with fireworks that we ignore the slow-burning flame.

The fact of the matter is this: Not every moment is going to be fireworks. Sometimes it takes a million little sparks to create a full-blown explosion.

But we're so busy looking for something HUGE that we forget to embrace all of those wonderful, humbler moments.