As you may or may not have noticed, I have something of a complicated relationship with relationships. I don't inherently hate them. I hate how some people treat them, I hate the value we place on having someone, anyone, instead of being alone. I hate the way it changes some people. And ok, yeah, I hate watching people make out in front of me at Starbucks. I prefer to say I'm realistic about relationships.
I've never really liked the idea that love is the only thing you need for a relationship to be successful. You know, this whole romantic comedy notion that if he cares about you he'll make time for you. If she wants to talk to you or be with you, she'll find a way. That's all bullshit.
I loved Taylor Hanson in middle school...also high school...and college...you know what, you get my point. I loved him and middle school me would have absolutely quit school to go on tour with him. I just needed to meet him and everything would have fallen into place. Right? Of course not. You're sitting there shaking your head and mentally telling me I'm ridiculous because there's no way that everything would be so simple. I wouldn't meet his eyes during a concert and be taken backstage so he could invite me to dinner and fall ridiculously in love with me. (Sorry for letting you down, 14 year old Amanda.)
And the reason all of that is bullshit is because the reality is so much more complicated. "I love you" doesn't suddenly make everything fall into place. "I love you" is just the thing that motivates you to put things into place yourself. The "I love you" makes you want to confront the hard stuff and deal with it and make everything work.
And sometimes you want to talk to someone but it's about more than just picking up the phone. Sometimes you want to make time for someone but a million other things get in the way and you have to deal with that first. Sometimes you love someone but it's better for both of you if that's all there is. Because life is so much more complicated than "they'll find a way."
If you're wondering where all this serious came from, you can blame the Smithies, who always make me feel smarter and more in control of my life than I really am. They are the best mirror to use because they reflect the best version of myself back at me. I had some long chats with them this weekend and we came to some pretty important conclusions, so I thought I'd share.