The False Fairy Tale

Written By: Amelia Bowes

Boys and girls alike, our twenties is a typically a time of midterms, papers, money, stress, eating Kraft Dinner out of a pot, and also:

Love.

Or, at least, we would like to have some love – of the romantic sort that is.

The thing about us, though, is that our ideas of love are less about watching a sunset from a hammock and more about crossing off a checklist. Whether it’s a potential CEO or someone who will just get up and make pancakes on Saturday morning, the whole idea of meeting and getting to know someone becomes contradictory when we already have that “person” mapped out in our minds. For example, more often than not when I discuss far-off mystery spouses with my single friends, I typically hear the following phrases:

“He/she will have to be as tall/short as me or taller/shorter, otherwise it would just be awkward.”

“I don’t think I’d be able to marry a picky eater. I’d have no patience for that.”

“It would help if we majored the same thing, then I’d know we have things in common.”

“I just know what I like.”

 Now, most of these are meant to be harmless, and I have probably said a few of them myself. But underlying such statements is a mindset that can, to be frank, become toxic.

As Christians, we know it to be true that we “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We are all less than whole, prone to ignoring our credit card bills and avoiding eye contact with the homeless man sitting by the crosswalk. We watch ourselves fail in small (and sometimes slightly less small) ways every day, and never once dispute that we are without a doubt imperfect and logically require a Saviour. And if we acknowledge this to be true for ourselves, why does it not apply to our future spouses, who will also be (gasp) imperfect humans?

Since we are currently in the process of living life, we know that it is never linear but full of bending roads and back alleys. We face situations we never thought we would have to, and we will inevitably react to these situations. However, we do not always know how to react. More often than not, what life slams down in front of us leaves us knowing how to do nothing else but cry, scream and sometimes completely and utterly break.

During those times it won’t matter whether you and your significant other read the same textbooks and are eye level when you stand in front of each other. They will probably not kiss you every time they get home from work, and in fact you will probably fight and not even like each other for a bit (even if you don’t always like, you always love).

What will matter, though, is knowing when to say something and when it is best to just listen. It will be crucial to remember that she still sleeps with one hand under her cheek and he still shaves right in the middle of the week. Think really hard right now, and decide whether you’d rather look into eyes that are a perfect blue or be held perfectly while you cry.

When you fall in love, you fall in love with a human being. A human being with a past, dreams, flaws and fears. A human being who will inevitably hurt you and whom you will inevitably hurt. A human being who will equally fail you as much as fulfill you. A human being who, just like you, is in desperate need of a Saviour.

Now I am not saying to stop being selective at all or date the very next person that talks to you, I’m just telling the truth. People are not black and white and were not designed to fit any one specific set of qualifications. When love comes, make sure you’re swooning over a heart and soul, not a resume.