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That moment when your Tax 2 professor asks you about forever

Karla: "...but for tax returns that were filed fraudulently, the prescription period is 10 years, sir."

Professor: "And 10 years is like forever, right?"

I actually answered, "Not long enough, sir." Cue laughter.

Because you know, when you hear and see 10-year marriages crumble, or couples on their 24th year getting on each other's nerves all the time, it only reminds you that, actually, forever is an illusion. It's a social construct. It's an idea man created, on which we can cling on to so that we can find it in ourselves to wade through the uncertainties and difficulties of life.

This, coming from a person in a very happy relationship, raised in a normal household with complete sets of parents and a strong sense of extended family.

And it's funny, because for someone who's supposed to be idyllic, sweet, and optimistic, I'm hardly the typical "romantic" girl. Sure, I catch myself imagining what my future wedding dress will look like when I'm bored. But I'm hardly the kind of person who thinks that love is easy, that love is given to you on a silver platter, and it stays that way, just because. I couldn't care less about chocolates or flowers or grand gestures every month, every year. I don't believe that there's only one person in the universe for you. I hardly agree with people who think that true love means finding the person who fits all the requirements in your list. This isn't some Disney-princess movie where prince charming comes waltzing in while you're singing about a guy you dream about.

Love is, to be quite honest about it, work. To borrow from a great Maroon 5 song (that I always sing in the shower and will never ever stop playing on any of my devices ever), it's not always rainbows and butterflies. Love is compromise. It's about finding someone you like, and working at a lifetime of tolerating them, so that you don't end up hating them.

Yes, this, coming from someone who proclaimed her love on a newspaper of general circulation.

But I think even he will be on agreement with me on this one. (And so will all the parents out there, I'm sure.) I guess when you're 23, at your nth shot at dating, and exposed to failed relationships (and not necessarily terminated marriages, mind you), you get a clearer grasp of what love really is. Or rather, the promise of "forever" that a "true love" in marriage entails.

A few weeks ago, I came across a really beautiful talk from Dan Savage, "The Price of Admission." He answered a reader’s question about romance deal-breakers and, in the process, offered some really insightful and honest advice on relationships and love in the process, which I completely identified and agreed with:

"There is no settling down without some settling for. There is no long-term relationship not just putting up with your partner’s flaws, but accepting them and then pretending they aren’t there. We like to call it in my house “paying the price of admission.”


You can’t have a long-term relationship with someone unless you’re willing to identify the prices of admission you’re willing to pay — and the ones you’re not. But the ones you’re not — the list of things you’re not willing to put up with — you really have to be able to count [them] on one hand…

People, when they’re young, have this idea… “There’s someone out there who’s perfect for me”… “The one.”

“The one” does not fucking exist.

“The one” is a lie. But the beautiful part of the lie is that it’s a lie you can tell yourself.

Any long-term relationship that’s successful is really a myth that two people create together … and myths are built of lies, and there’s usually some kernel of truth…

When you think about it, you meet somebody for the first time, and they’re not presenting their warts-and-all self to you — they’re presenting their idealized self to you, they’re leading with their best. And then, eventually, you’re farting in front of each other. Eventually, you get to see the person who is behind that facade of their best, and they get to see the person your facade, your lie-self — this lie that you presented to them about who you really are. And what’s beautiful about a long-term relationship, and what can be transformative about it, is that I pretend every day that my boyfriend is the lie that I met when I first met him. And he does that same favor to me — he pretends that I’m that better person than I actually am. Even though he knows I’m not. Even though I know he’s not. And we then are obligated to live up to the lies we told each other about who we are — we are then forced to be better people than we actually are, because it’s expected of us by each other.

And you can, in a long-term relationship, really make your lie-self come true — if you’re smart, and you demand it of them, and you’re willing to give it to them… That’s the only way you become “the one” — it’s because somebody is willing to pretend you are. “The one” that they were waiting for, “the one” they wanted, their “one.” Because you’re not — nobody is. No two people are perfect for each other, ever, period — No two people are 100% sexually compatible, no two people are 100% emotionally compatible, no two people want the same things. And if you can’t reconcile yourself to that, you will have no relationships that last longer than two months.

And you know what? It’s not going to be their fault — it’s going to be your fault."


10 years isn't forever, sir. Maybe for tax purposes it may seem like so. But maybe we shouldn't be looking at love in terms of large, "unquantifiable but definite" units of measurement like forever. Maybe, just like the idea of The One, we're better off leaving forever as a myth; maybe we're better off treating every single day of choosing to be with a person as what's real and tangible and symbolic of what love is.

One day at a time sounds more comforting than "always and forever." One day at a time is hearing him on the phone at the end of the day, telling you about a feng shui expert arriving at their meeting to discuss good and bad luck before the construction of a building. One day at a time is being reminded of your Gaviscon (and other acid-related medicines) every time you switch bags. One day at a time is coming home to an empty bed, with so many things to read, but receiving a text excitedly telling you that it's 24 hours less until Saturday.

I guess we have our own ideas about love that we cling to. You all can have forever; I'll have one day at a time please.