By Nicolle

The more I contemplate and research relationships, the more I see the ubiquitous nature of relationship woes. No one has it perfect; no one is mistake-free. No one has all the answers; no one is question-less.

That said, the more we talk about it and the more we examine our surroundings, how we’ve been brought up and what we think is “right,” the more likely we’ll be to stop the trends of divorce and unrealistic expectations that we’re collectively suffering from.

Here are a few of my favorite things, from cartoons and songs to articles and books, that can help us reshape our ways of thinking:

  1. What do Disney and porn movies have in common? Unrealistic expectations. And both sides are damaging. (Link courtesy of my friend, Matt Perry.)
  2. Singer Lucy Woodward sure got it right with her song “He Got Away.” Her lyrics lament losing a great guy because she thought she could find something better when all along, she should have noticed what a catch she really had.
  3. Gen X and the Millenial generations are the firsts to avoid rushing into marriage right after (or during) college. As a whole, they say watching their parents get divorced is a reason to push back marriage – if they wait longer, they’re less likely to follow in those divorced footsteps. While some of the other reasons young adults are pushing back the average marrying age are less chivalrous (among them are waiting for “the one,” being afraid of commitment and having an attitude of distrust surrounding relationships), we can still take a cue from them: THERE IS NO NEED TO RUSH. This USA Today article gives a good perspective on reasons for waiting – though there is a point when if you’re not going to get married, you should probably break up and move on. It’s a balance, people! (Link courtesy of my friend, Rachael Constable.)
  4. (500) Days of Summer is one of my favorite movies. Not only does it avoid a clichéd happy ending (kind of, if you disregard the last three minutes), it provides a commentary on two different kinds of people, those who are idealistic dreamers and those who are more realistic and skeptical. While both types have their strengths, the movie made it clear that meeting in the middle will more often provide you with a “happy ending.” (Plus, the soundtrack is phenomenal.)

Got any other articles, songs, cartoons or books I should read to get myself an even broader perspective? I’d love to hear about them.

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