Romance 101

Laura Alexander

You’re out at a restaurant with a friend and a couple is seated at the table right next to you. Though you’re not usually an eavesdropper (okay, maybe you are, but hey, it’s fun) you can’t help but listen to these two. Your friend leans over and whispers, “Talk about in love.” You smile and nod, but that’s not what you were thinking. It’s obvious they’re in love. But there’s something else about them that you can’t even really name. They have “that something.”

What is “that something?” Did Rachel and Ross have “it,” do Derek and Meredith have “it?” TV shows and movies spend millions of dollars trying to recreate it for their audiences, but it’s something only in real life. It’s “that something” that allows you to look at couples and know who’s going to last and who isn’t. It’s what keeps you together through the most trying parts of your relationship. And it is what lets you know when you’re ready to spend the rest of your life with someone. But what is “it?”

Is it love? No, you can be in love and not have “it.” For example, you fall in love with a girl who is the one of the sweetest people you’ve ever met. You know that she would never hurt you and that she would make you happy. But after a year together, you know that you don’t have “it.” You could have an amazing relationship, but without “it,” you could not spend everyday of your lives together. There’s too much you’ll experience, and without “it” you won’t be able to get through all the experiences as one.

Is it chemistry? (Sorry pre-meds, to throw that word in during the middle of finals.) Even the couples with great chemistry are many times missing “that something.” You may see a couple that seems to know what the other is thinking and can make each other smile with just a look, but that may not be enough. It’s the couple that, when you’re helping your clueless guy friend pick out a ring in a few years, you can honestly say to him, “I knew from almost the beginning that this is where you guys would end up.” There’s something different about them. Some clue that it will last.

Is it a soulmate? Whew, now we’re getting into some deep stuff (as if picking out engagement rings wasn’t scary enough). Here we get into the whole, does everyone just have that one someone blah blah blah. Really, who knows? The question should not be who is that one you are destined to be with, it should be who could you have “that something” with? Less scary-sounding, right? You may fall in love many times, but who will you have “that something” with?

That person would be one to hang onto. It may not be that there is only one person that you can have “that some thing” with, but it is something special. It’s not something you feel every time you fall head-over-heels for someone. It’s something deeper. And unfortunately, something that seems to be completely indescribable. You’ll just have to find your way into knowing.

And until then, don’t settle. You may find a great guy, but don’t close out the possibilities just because you’re tired of looking and have found someone you could probably love. Wait for “that something.” Maybe that’s the hopeless romantic talking, but don’t you want to be that couple sitting in the restaurant who people see and know you have “it?” Love will get you somewhere, but it’s “that something” that will keep you going.

So what exactly is “it?” Don’t know. But it’s definitely something worth finding.

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