We’ve heard it all before: He’s not good enough for you. You deserve better. What do you even see in him? And as much as we hate dealing with those types of statements when they relate to our love lives, we’re usually just as guilty as using them on our friends when they date someone we have deemed unworthy. We love our friends dearly, but often wonder where logic went when they chose their significant others. Of course, the more I look at relationships as a whole, the more I begin to wonder if logic even has to factor in for a relationship to be successful.
So who better to look at than Taylor Swift, the princess of adorable high school crush soundtracks, for some guidance into this phenomenon? There’s a T. Swift song for everything, and in this case, it’s The Way I Loved You, the story of a girl who has a seemingly perfect boyfriend but still longs for her imperfect ex. Or what about The Notebook, the epic love story that transcends time itself? (Yes, The Notebook is THAT good.) Allie and Noah come from completely separate worlds and haven’t even seen each other in nearly a decade, but she still manages to leave her charming and good-natured fiancee for him, all in the name of love. Of course, if those examples haven’t convinced every teenage girl on the planet that a true “romantic” ending isn’t necessarily the easier or more rational choice, then consider Chuck and Blair on Gossip Girl, and you’ll see just how far “true love” strays from the idea of that Perfect Match.
That’s not to say that we should relate everything we know about relationships to pop culture, but we should recognize that our ideas of the perfect love don’t always correlate with what’s really there. You might tell yourself that you want to date a guy who showers you with lavish gifts and who likes to talk about his feelings, but then when you find him, you realize you want someone who will give you some space. Maybe you’re interested in dating someone you were friends with for some time, but when a relationship finally does begin, you decide that you don’t have any chemistry with that person. The point is, we might think we know what we want in a boyfriend or girlfriend, but when it comes down to it, some traits only look good on paper.
It’s good to have certain standards — for example, I refuse to date anyone who is racist or otherwise intolerant, and I really do think that a sense of humor is a nice characteristic to have — but if you make too many rules, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. In other words, don’t say no to someone that you might like just because they don’t match a particular checklist.