Four years ago, afer a particularly difficult break-up, I stumbled upon a self-help book at a friend's place, and in a fit of desperation, devoured it in one sitting. The authors basically stated that if a relationship ended, it happened for a reason, and that conclusion should be finite. Once it's done, it's over for good. Finito. No going back, because whatever the reason for the split, it wasn't going away with a reunion. For months, I clung to this like gospel. I was so desperate for a solid reason to move on, and this seemed good as any--and for me, it worked, and for that relationship, it was true. I preached this to every friend who would listen--and some who probably stopped after the seventh time hearing it.
But that's the tricky thing about love--there are no finite rules. What might be the end of one relationship could just be a turn in the road for another. Four years later, I don't dish out the same advice to all of my friends who have broken up and are considering a reconciliation because I've seen all sorts of stories culminate with a trip to the altar, and the only thing they have in common is that not one of them got there without a bump in the road.
Which brings us to a wedding I attended in October. The girl was marrying her college sweetheart and I knew they had broken up a few times before their final reunion. What I didn't know is how the maid of honor would turn this fact about them into a strength. By using a timeline format for her speech--breaking down key moments in the couple's lives, as well as smattering in hilarious stories about the bride along the way--she had the crowd wrapped around her finger. But instead of only highlighting the good, she embraced the bad. Rather than paint the couple as perfectly in love, she let us see their imperfections and how they loved each other anyway. And at the end of the day, even as she hated the boy who was breaking her sister's heart that given moment, she always knew deep down that very boy would become her brother in law, and she couldn't be happier that it was finally happening. The crowd laughed, cried, and for a brief moment saw themselves in the newlyweds. And in reality, that's what weddings are about--promising to stick by someone through the hard stuff, because it will make the good stuff all the better. No love story is perfect. But hopefully, at the end of the day, you find a little bit of perfect in your relationship that makes it all worthwhile.
Image via Once Wed