There is nothing worse than being a twenty something, hopeless romantic in the world today. I know I’m constantly writing on an on about love and relationships, but hey, what can I say? I love love.

Everyone always talks about how hard relationships and love are for people who came from a quote-unquote broken home. But what about those of us who grew up surrounded by loving adult relationships?

Now before you roll your eyes at me and dismiss my thoughts, hear me out.

I was blessed to grow up surrounded by all four of my grandparents and both of my parents, who were all happily married to their one true love. I’ve grown up hearing their stories and looking at old photographs that captured the lives that they’ve worked hard to create together.

I feel as though a person who grew up in a home where they watched their parents struggle to find happiness together or never even saw their parents happy together are willing to try to go out and find that in the world for themselves. These people are more willing to give relationships and to give love a chance. A person who grew up hearing the love stories of their elders or watching their elders together, they have an expectation for love and relationships set up in their mind whether they want to admit it or not. They already have an ideal of what their significant other should be, an idea of the “spark” that they think they should feel, and that is why those people struggle to commit. They continue to keep one foot out the door, one eye over their shoulder looking for where the grass is greener. It’s rare to have that kind of instant connection with anyone nowadays, but because we think that’s what should happen, we’re afraid to miss out on it.

For me, I genuinely believed that my love life would follow the same story that my parents did. I truly thought that when I went off to college, I would meet the person that I was meant to. I thought we would get married after college and have kids in our twenties because to me, that was my norm. It’s what my grandparents did, it’s what my parents did, and it’s what I (thought) I would do.

And as hard as it was for me to admit that that’s how I really thought my life would play out, it’s been that much harder to let go of that ideal.

I have such a high standard; such a high ideal of what love and relationships should be that I don’t want to settle for anything less. I read too much into certain things sometimes that are actually inconsequential in the long run. I expected the hearts and flowers of the romance stories that I heard growing up.

Times have changed, things are different than they used to be. My generation, millennials, we spend more time focusing on our careers. We’re taking the time to be selfish in our twenties and go on the trips that we’ve dreamed of or spend time going on adventures with our friends.

But we as a generation have also changed, we’ve changed as humans in the way that we look at and approach relationships. We’re all concerned with holding out in the case of anything better along. We’re all afraid of getting hurt so we keep one foot out the door ready to run at any moment when things get too intense.

Things like online dating or apps like Hinge, Tinder, and Bumble have made the entire process of relationships impersonal and transactional. There’s no way that reading a witty bio and looking a few pictures can really tell you all you need to know about someone.

I and so many more bloggers can write about this topic, we can continue to talk about it and complain in the company of friends, and we can continue to rant about it in our own thoughts, but as much as it sucks, it’s the way majority of our generation thinks.

So, I’ll wait.

I’ll wait for my love story. I still believe in the love that my grandparents and my parents have. I believe in their partnerships because even though things aren’t always pretty and happy, they’ve all found a person who’s willing to trudge through the messy parts of life by their side. I’ve watched them go through the highs and the lows. I’ve watched them pick up their partner when they needed a hand and I’ve watched them be truly supportive of the others endeavors. I’ve watched them respect one another as an equal. I’ll wait to find that, and I won’t settle for the ones who don’t put in the effort that every person deserves.

I’ll wait.

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Written by Jazmyn Patterson

Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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