Reading Jenny Han’s To all the Boys I have I’ve Ever Loved, I’ve enjoyed seeing the bonds of sisterhood grow and face different challenges, like distance, family responsibilities, personal struggles and love and relationships.
However, this isn’t the problem I’m having with this “fun” read. It’s the fact that it plays into the same cookie cutter storyline that most of these modern “teen” novels do – “He’s not supposed to be with me, he’s supposed to be with her, they’re meant to be.” this idea of people being together by the almighty forces of “destiny” and love is tired and quite honestly ridiculous.
Because let me tell you something – statistically speaking, 1 out of 10 high school relationships last and most of those relationships end within the last the end of graduation through first semester of college. If you are one of the lucky few who are still with your prom queen or homecoming king congratulations! You’re a minority. The rest of us aren’t as statistically gifted as you.
This is what truly upsets me though – authors like Han who buy into the “dream” or ideal romantic situation/relationship bull crap that every girl has been force fed ever since her mom read her a bed time story that ended with “they lived happily ever after”. Life isn’t like movies or fairytales and sometimes not even like Shakespeare (although I wouldn’t mind being Juliet to DiCaprio’s Romeo).
Love in real life isn’t destined or at first glance as so many of us are lead to believe. Hate to be the one to break it to you, but that awkward guy from your psych 101 class – you know the one who you find absolutely annoying – that’s probably the guy you will end up with.
That’s my point. Love is unexpected. It’s something that is give and take; something that struggles and yet can give you the greatest exhilaration.
A real adult loving relationship takes actual work and time to grow – not dismissing that one guy who you went on like two dates with then chase in the rain while pledging undying love to him, as Jenny Han describes in her book. And I’m not saying your first love doesn’t matter – because it does – but that’s just it. It’s your first love, not your last. And if you keep ruminating on it like Han does, then you might close yourself off to potentially meeting your one true life.
The whole point is nothing is definite. Nothing is meant to be. So stop worrying about it. Love will find a way if you let it, not force it.