Many moons ago, I found myself binge-watching the series "How I Met Your Mother." Among the witty pop culture references, I often found insightful theories on relationships.
One notable feature was Barney Stinson's “Hot Vs. Crazy” graph, in which a person's hotness positively correlates to them being proportionally crazy. Although this is sometimes the case, I have to say, I know a lot of people of varying hotness who all might have a screw loose.
However, one theory that struck me most came from the beloved couple, Marshall and Lily, who claimed that in a relationship, there is always a reacher and a settler. The reacher believes they've attained a partner they don't deserve, whereas the settler — you guessed it — has settled for their companion.
Admittedly, I took the theory to heart at first, and I couldn't grasp which end of the spectrum I was on. I thought and thought, but the conclusion I came to was that such dynamics are irrelevant. They damage healthy relationships and pressure each person to live to a label.
If you're lucky, you won't alternate between being a reacher or a settler. You'll end up somewhere in the middle. That's called being happy.
During your highest triumphs, instances of doubt or really good hair days, you might suppose you could attract other people, but true love means you don't want to. During your deepest losses, moments of fear and really bad hair days, you will ask yourself how you are worthy of love, respect and patience.
True love means your partner will give you those answers, sometimes just with a grasp of your hand. The only thing we have to reach and settle for in life is being ourselves, accepting our flaws and aiming to better ourselves.
Being "hot" or "attractive" by a certain social standard doesn't hold up long in deep romantic commitments. The vast majority of the time I encounter someone I deem attractive, I find myself disinterested with their personality.
I've seen the hottest couples fall apart, and equally hot ones form. The fact of it all is, emotional chemistry is what fosters and maintains love.
You can have Zac Efron's features and still bore me to death, or you can have the sexiest Porsche, but that doesn't mean we'll understand each other. When you get lucky enough to click with someone, you realize rankings are immature. You're not comparing yourself to your partner, but instead, you're relishing in what is between the two of you.
I know from personal experience that I can feel like both an eight and a two, depending on the day I'm having. But, I know my boyfriend has always made me feel like a 10.
That's including when I'm repping the disaster that is my hair in the morning. That's including the raccoon-like puddle of mascara I've smeared across my eyes when I've cried too long and too hard. That's including when I'm eating pasta. (FYI, eating pasta is not an attractive experience. The noodles are very unpredictable, and the length really complicates things when you're trying to look cute.)
Basically, he's a champ.
Conversely, I look at him like he puts stars in the sky. He has brown eyes and falls into the pool of people who think they're average. To me, though, they're hazelnut. They're like a warm cup of coffee, which works out because he energizes and comforts me just the same.
The reality of the situation is, when you're in love, are loved and love yourself, you don't keep scores of any kind. Instead, you measure your partner as a whole person, and they tip the scale when you weigh your options.
So sorry, Mr. Gosling, I'll have to pass.