Once upon a time, there lived a girl and a boy in a far-off land. Being from two different sides of the track, their families remained at odds with each other. They were to never cross paths until one fateful night at a ball. His eyes were drawn to hers and from that day forward they became inseparable.
As time progressed, they knew that fate would put distance between them. Both families urged them to see others on the premises that young love just doesn’t last. He moved away for college while she went to school at home hoping that he would one day return.
As her heart yearned for her far way love, he began to seek other mates. She continued waiting for him as he went in and out of other relationships and back to her repeatedly. She stayed the course even after finding a letter from one of his suitors.
But getting caught didn’t stop him. With his two women now being in different cities he thought that he just needed to be more careful and his lies started to grow. On one occasion, when he returned home to her, he just told the other girlfriend that he was in Haiti helping rebuild.
One day she built up the strength to walk away for good. As she started a new life she ventured into dating all awhile comparing them to her unrequited love. Deep down that was the love she desired and no matter what she did, she couldn’t free herself of it. So, she waited.
Fifteen years later…
This story of the ‘heart wanting what it wants’ sounds familiar. We witnessed Carrie Bradshaw’s heart only beat for Big for 10 years while this man got married twice before finally choosing Carrie. People tuned in each week to watch Meredith yearn for Mc. Dreamy for at least five seasons; only to end up with him, and then go back to longing for him after he had a tragic collision with fate. We can take it back to when Steve Urkel walked in to a personality altering machine only to pop out as Stefan Urquelle in order to win the affection of Laura.
Before I tell you the outcome of the story, I want to explore the feeling of longing. The longing for someone that isn’t quite where you are or where you want them to be can be an excruciating journey. It’s the wanting of something or someone whom you have no guarantee is going to chose you in the end. It’s a process that involves many nights spent alone with tear stained pillows or nights creating a diversion by spending it on the town with friends.
And yes, pop culture has romanticized the longing of unrequited love. From a young age, girls are conditioned to believe that they should wait for their prince- from Rapunzel to The Little Mermaid. If only it were that easy that we could grow a pair of legs to make the man fall in love with us or microwave us a new persona to gain the woman’s affection. Instead, we literally wait in hopes of the one that we long for realizes that we are the person that they just can’t live without. We wait through the ups and downs twist and turns. I’ll admit, there is something bittersweet about the process IF in the end you get your lover. But how long is too long to wait? And like the above story, if you are in a relationship how long is too long to simply date someone before they get their act together and actually commit/marry?
Well, 15 years later that girl got her guy. He came to his senses and I was blessed to witness their union. I’m just embarrassed that he and I share the same blood line (Especially when I think of the Haiti story)
In another blissful ending story, I watched one of my other cousins fight for the woman of his dreams only hoping that he would one day win her heart. He loved her through watching her with other men and a pregnancy. Fast forward 20 years they happily married with 3 kids and a baby on the way. Still, he waited 7 years- all the while being her good guy friend (guys don’t let anyone tell you that the friend zone won’t get you anywhere. There is hope out there).
These people were in it for the long haul. There was definitely frustration and resentment. In fighting for what they wanted, the wait was part of the battle. But in the end, everyone- fiction and non-fiction, conquered the heart of their desired love.
As we grow older, what we learned at a young age from the pop culture starts to fade. We adapt to the mindset of not having time to waste and any time wasted with the wrong one could make us miss out on the one that was really meant for us.
Then there are those who simply long for love. I’m talking about us single folks with desire of finding someone and having something true, real, and deep. It’s not the fairytale of finally getting the “one” that we have been pawning over for years, but it’s longing nonetheless. We have no choice but to wait for however long it takes.
It’s easier said than done, but the wait could be a good thing. It’s a time where you can really get to know who you are and what you prefer. It’s a time to build on you. I am not saying wait for 7-15 years for someone to come around. I wouldn’t condemn anyone to that sentence. I’m not even asking that you wait on anyone at all. I won’t even do that.
What I am suggesting is that longing for love doesn’t have to be painful, exhausting, or frustrating. It doesn’t have to be filled with drama. It can be a time of reflection and self-discovery. And from what I’ve witnessed when the time is right, it will prove to have been worth the wait.
Remember “patience is a virtue” and “good things come to those who wait.”