Lost and Searching

Examining My Ideas of Love

I’ve been rewatching the first season of How I Met Your Mother recently. I’ve watched this show since the first season aired live. I fell in love with it pretty much instantly and have watched it near religiously ever since.

In watching it again, I see why I fell in love with it. That first season was powerful. From the initial date with Robin and Lily and Marshall getting engaged, to Ted finding Victoria and how beautiful that relationship was. I always wanted that relationship to work and it broke my heart when it didn’t.

That love for the show was cemented in the first season finale, with the end of Lily and Marshall and the final connection of Robin and Ted. One of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching moments in modern television is Lily in tears yelling ‘PAUSE!’ and climbing Marshall to kiss him. In that moment, she loved him with everything she was, but she knew she had to go and couldn’t let go just yet. That was the first time I ever cried watching a TV show. They were perfect, but they broke up anyways. You knew it when it happened, but you still hoped it wouldn’t happen.

This show has been my current ideal of love for much of my adult life. It replaced that which was shattered when my parents divorced. It seems silly, as it is just a show, but it’s pretty easy to emotionally connect to the characters of a show when you don’t have that in your real life. So, I have unknowingly clung to it as a romantic ideal, as though one day, maybe, I might get to experience some of the stuff Ted went through and eventually have a grand tale of how I met my wife. I want it, but I know better.

The thing that sucks is knowing that all of the grand and magically romantic moments that Ted creates throughout the series are not real. Love doesn’t happen like that in real life. You can’t make it rain to convince someone to date you. You don’t get the girl after being denied and staying friends. Sure, it looks awesome on TV, but the reality is that when you get shot down, you tend to stay there, no matter what you do. It sounds cheesy, but I want that kind of grand romanticism, but I know that it isn’t real. I know that even if I tried it, it wouldn’t work. Nobody wants that from me. All it’d do is kill the friendship.

I’d put the effort in, if I thought it might change things. I’ve been taught otherwise though.


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