And How Can We Star in Our Own Love Story?
What is it that draws us to love stories? They’re everywhere! From fairy tales to action movies to romantic comedies, love stories seem to be enmeshed in every plotline. It’s almost as if love stories were inescapable. There must be a reason that we’re so drawn to them and come back to them throughout our lives.
Let’s take a bird’s eye view of love stories and find out what’s so great about them.
What makes a good love story?
There are a few key elements that go into every good love story. Whether it’s a heartwarming, sappy tale of romance or a rom-com, you’ll find these elements intertwined into the story.
There’s always palpable chemistry between the love interests. It’s like they’re pulled to one another. Just by watching them, you know they’re meant to be together. Even when they frustrate each other beyond all reason, their love remains. Like opposite ends of a magnet, they’re inseparable despite how much life might try to rip them apart.
We love the idea of chemistry between the couple because that’s how we want to feel. We long to be drawn to another person, possibly even completed by them. Without them, we’re just one element on our own. But when we join with them, we’re something completely different. Together, we’re better and stronger than either of us would ever be apart.
In the best love stories, the couple has to overcome some kind of obstacle that ultimately brings them closer together. In fairy tales, the prince has to rescue the princess from an evil sorcerer and set her free. He may have to tame dragons (or perhaps tame himself) before winning her hand and living happily ever after.
In more modern drama-based love stories, the couple has to overcome something a little more realistic. Maybe one of them loses their job, or they have to deal with some unresolved issues from a past relationship. No matter the plotline, the couple has to overcome something before their love can truly flourish.
We love seeing couples overcome obstacles. For just a moment, we wonder if they’ll stay together. We all know real-life couples who have faced struggles and broken up because of them. So it’s satisfying to feel the tension of the struggle and ultimately know that the love-story couple makes it through. We want to have a love so resilient that nothing can break it, just like the couple in the story.
Most importantly, love stories give us hope. Love is out there somewhere! It’s big and overwhelming and outside of our control. Even if we’ve been searching for love our whole lives, it’s not too late to find it.
The big city girl who goes home and meets Mr. Right? That could be us one day!
The ogre who lives in a swamp and accidentally finds his soulmate? We’re in! If Shrek and Fiona can be that happy in a swamp, then we can be too!
No matter what your life is like, there’s hope that everyone can have their own love story.
Most of the big love stories end with a “happily ever after.” We read, watch, and love those stories because we know they’re going to end well. Even if the couple has gone through something horrible along the way or their relationship almost didn’t survive, we know that they’ll be together in the end. Their love will triumph over everything else.
Becoming the lead in your own love story
Of course there is!
Love stories only exist because love is real and exciting! Couples throughout history have set examples for the rest of us on what true love can look like. But it’s not always what you think it will be. Real-life love stories can be a little different.
Here are some things to remember as you start the journey into your own love story.
- Real-life love stories take longer than in the movies. Movies make it seem like true love happens overnight. It’s as if you get to meet your soulmate, know it immediately, and then marry them within a couple of months and be happy forever. It doesn’t usually work like that!
Relationships start with a flood of happy feelings. Like Cinderella at the ball, you’ve escaped the drudgery of everyday life and you’ve met someone who makes you feel ecstatic! Then you go back home and your carriage turns back into a pumpkin, and real-life sets back in. You were hoping that encounter would be the one moment that changed everything, but it wasn’t.
That’s because an individual moment rarely changes everything! Those big, life-altering love-story changes actually come from a lot of little moments strung together over time, and they’re not always easy.
- “Happily ever after” isn’t really a thing. Remember how we talked about the love-story couple needing to overcome some obstacles along the way? In real life, that happens over and over again. When you’re in a loving relationship with someone, you can expect to go through life with them. And life gets messy.
The good news is, your love story gets deeper with every obstacle you overcome together! As long as your story continues, you can expect new challenges and new happy endings. Remember, the final page of your story doesn’t close as long as you still love each other.
- Your “prince” or “princess” might not be what you’ve always envisioned. This is something that plenty of love stories get right, but we tend to forget in real life. We like to create a sort of checklist for the person we think will complete us.
- Right age
- Right income
- Right education level
- Right career path
- Right hobbies
If they check off every box on the list, that will clearly mean they’re “the one.” Right?
Not always. The person who makes you happiest and brings out the best in you might not check off every single box you’ve got in mind. Sure there are some deal-breakers, but it can’t all be a deal-breaker. Think through some of your favorite love stories. Were the leads ever taken off guard by the person who completed them? The answer is almost certainly, “yes.”
Make sure you stay open to new opportunities for love. Stay true to your deal-breakers — you’ve set those for a reason. Otherwise, don’t worry if someone doesn’t check every box on your list. Don’t miss out on love because you’re stuck to a checklist.
Don’t forget to read submissions from reader’s like you here of their real life love stories. And fictional short stories here. Would you like to share your story or write a fictional piece? Submit your story here.