"Only unfulfilled love can be romantic..."
I came across this quote today from a movie entitled Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The film is about best friends who go to Barcelona for vacation, and while there, one of the women (who is engaged) falls in love with another man.
When I first read this quote, I was confused. What exactly is "unfulfilled love"? And why isn't fulfilled love capable of being romantic. After reading up on other's interpretation of what it all means, a light bulb went on, and I figured it all out.
"Unfulfilled love" is the stage of falling in love. For most of us, the components that accompany this stage of a relationship are romantic dates, sweet notes or text messages, and maybe the occasional "just because" flowers. The love expressed during this time is considered "unfulfilled" because it's still new and growing. During this stage, we are working and wooing our beloved by saying all the right things, showing affection, and really putting our best selves forward to send a message to them on why we would be an ideal companion. We would do anything to make them smile, especially if there is competition for their love. But once the message is received and both parties agree to move forward with the relationship, then that is when love is fulfilled and they both live happily ever after, right? Well, according to the quote above, once love is fulfilled, the romance is no more, and I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a very happy ending. I find this extremely disheartening.
At first glance, I didn't believe the quote to be true. Married couples and people who have been in love for years still do romantic things for each other, don't they? And isn't romance at least part of the reason why people stay in love? Then again, what is considered romantic? The hopeless romantic in me wanted to believe that romance does not end when it comes to love - fulfilled or not.
However, after thinking about it, I have to admit that it does make sense. Many relationships lose the romance after years, or even months of being in love. I've seen it. Was it real love? I don't know - it's not for me to judge. But what I do know is that a love without romance sounds dry and boring to me. Is that why we are so drawn to "unfulfilled love" - the excitement, the chase, the romantic gestures and the drama? Is that why so many of us love the feeling of falling in love, but are afraid to commit and stick around in the long run?
You ever notice how the best part of any movie or book is the part where we watch two people struggle with their "unfulfilled love"? We are entertained by the drama in a situation where two people who belong together are confronted with obstacles that keep them from falling in love. Are they going to get together? Grow apart? Is she going to choose the poor guy, or the rich one? Oh, the drama! We love the unknown. But then, eventually, they start to discover each other and then they fall in love. What happens next to the couple? Well, we don't know. Why? Because usually the book ends or the credits roll after the love is fulfilled, so we never get to see their happily ever after, do we? Why do you think that is? Is it because happy endings are boring and uninteresting? Maybe it's because after the unknown is known - after all the romance, excitement, drama is over all that is left is two simple people filled with love. We all know what to expect afterwards. They usually get married, buy a big house, and have a few kids. Simple, drama-free living. And we never really get a chance to see if their fulfilled love is full of romance.
Must love really be "unfulfilled" in order for us to bask in it's romantic nature? I hope not. Though my loving is soo far from being fulfilled, I look forward to the romance that follows. But I also want the romance to stick around once my love is fulfilled! If it isn't, then whats the point? What is love without romance? Or maybe love isn't all about romance, and that's the real test of your love for each other. Perhaps love is mostly a complicated mix of every day life and old emotions that put you there in the first place. Perhaps romance is at it's peak when love is unfulfilled, but does it really have to end there? I just refuse to believe that there is nothing romantic about fulfilled love.
I guess my question for all of you is, do you agree with this quote? And, what exactly does love look like WITHOUT romance?
Sorry this was so long...