Have you ever noticed that the “end” of a romantic comedy is always the beginning of the actual relationship? You spend the entire movie watching the couple fall in love—you witness all the exciting moments that happen before the actual relationship even begins. You see the butterflies, the obstacles they overcome to be together, and then BAM—it ends with a first kiss, or a wedding, or some other big romantic event that signifies “making it.”
But that’s not how real life works, is it? Our lives don’t end after the romantic scene fades to black. Credits don’t play and Taylor Swift doesn’t sing us off into the sunset.
Instead, we go on living real life with that person. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly. We learn intimate details about their lives that maybe aren’t so pretty, and they get to see us in the morning with our BreatheRight strips on our noses, smudged glasses sliding down our faces, and retainers in our mouths. (I’m not even joking…that’s what Phillip wakes up to every day.)
Don’t get me wrong—I love a good rom-com as much as the next girl. But I think they’ve done a really bang up job of skewing our perspective of what real life and real lifelong love looks like. The first kiss, saying “I do,” moving in together—those aren’t the end of our stories. We get to live what Brene Brown calls “the messy middle.”
And ya’ll…it’s ALL the messy middle. There is no happy ending, because until life or the relationship isn't over, it’s HAPPENING.
I often find myself waiting for the romantic comedy “end”— the kiss/wedding/big romantic moment that signifies we’ve made it, I got it right, we’re perfect and we’ll live happily ever after. (Ha!)
But since I know logically that’s not how it works, I’m always searching for ways to be truly appreciative and deeply present in the messy middle. I want to be grateful for the mundane moments on the couch and the intimacy of waking up next to someone day after day, and I want to appreciate the experience of going on a life adventure with my person.
I think Jason Mraz sums it up perfectly in his song “Tonight, Not Again”:
So, to help us all spread some love for the messy middle, I made an image of that Jason Mraz quote for you to share! Just fill out the info below, and the download button for the image will appear. Voila! And then I encourage you to pop onto Instagram or Facebook and share an imperfectly perfect memory you have with your person that happened AFTER the kiss/wedding/big romantic moment. And don't forget to tag me, because I want to hear all of your stories!! (@aptbphoto)
P.S. Thanks for being here, friends. I am so happy we get to hang out in this space together. <3