Monday, April 20, 2015

Cringeworthy relationship cliches, from the start of a romance to its bitter end

"Love is fair...It breaks everybody's heart." Thank you, Miss Barbara Mandrell, for offering some of the truest words ever spoken, or sung, about love on your 1981 country single. (Sorry, Sade, but "Nothing can come between us" is purely wishful thinking.)

It was a unique assessment with a surprise twist -- and considerably more resonant and dead accurate than all those love, romance and relationship cliches that we generally spout. 

Despite my cynicism, I do believe in love...forever love even. What I don't buy is the florid and hackneyed prose it often inspires. For example...

1. "I've never felt this way about anyone." The current cut is always the deepest...until the next one.

2. "He/she knows me better than I know myself." Deeper understanding on one lover's part or just a complete lack of self-awareness on the other's? While I concede that those closest to me might have special insight into why I do the things I do, no one on earth is more of an expert on me than the guy who has been stuck with me 24/7 for my entire life. 

3. "We're like the same person." So falling in love with myself should be a romantic aspiration? Well, I suppose opposites don't always attract and self-love is indeed a good thing, but falling for myself would make for some painfully superfluous conversations. I'd rather share my life with someone different from me because even if it's not as critical as self-love, variety is the spice of life.

4. "I love you more." While it's preferable to the "Thank you" response to "I love you," if love is already a battlefield, must we make it a contest, too? Can one measure something so intangible that most people can't even define it? "I love you, too" will always suffice.

5. "My other half." A person can inspire me, enhance my life and rock my world, but nobody completes me but me.

6. "My better half." Really? Better? What happened to equal partners?

7. "You can tell me anything." Famous last words...spoken right before the devastating ones that rip a couple apart forever.

8. "Relationships are hard." No, love doesn't have to be a battlefield. Sure, if it's worth having, it's worth fighting for, but I wouldn't kick easy loving out of bed.

9. "You can do better." The precursor to "Their loss" post-split. Has such shameless ego massaging ever actually made anyone feel better?

10. There's plenty of other fish in the sea." Yeah, but a crowded and polluted sea of love makes the perfect filet that much harder to find. Vegetarians might be on to something.

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