“Romeo and Juliet” is regarded as the most romantic love story of all time. It is constantly referenced alongside "true love"; it is the ultimate example of love that all couples try to follow.
Romeo and Juliet is romantic, but it is also tragic. It tells the story of star-crossed lovers who are forbidden to see each other.
What makes this concept so romantic--this idea of forbidden love? Why do people revel over the love stories where the people who love each other can’t be together? Why do we idolize the army wives or the couple with cancer or long distance relationships? Why is eloping so romantic? Why do we as humans find love that is nearly impossible more romantic than "easy" love?
What people may say is because when people love each other through whatever odds, that’s romantic. Love that can prevail through thick and thin is the “real love”. Yes, that’s all fun and games, watching Hazel cry over the death of Augustus, Tony profess his love for Maria from her balcony, and Juliet kill herself over the death of her Romeo. I mean, Katniss and Peeta even played on this concept during the Hunger Games to attract more fans–and it worked! But this idea of loving someone you can’t be with, it’s romantic until it’s actually happening to you.
I have had experience being "in love" with a person that I wasn't allowed to be with. We physically were not allowed to be together. His parents wouldn't allow it, but we loved each other. We tried to fill the spaces with everything we could--with friends, work, entertainment, alcohol. We distracted ourselves and looked the other direction. But I remembered lying in bed at night and realizing that another day had gone by, and I was sad. I was alone.
Obviously, in hindsight, this situation is very interesting to look back on. Was it worth it? I was certain that it was at the time. Whether or not it was the wisest choice to choose to "love against all odds", I learned an important lesson about the "romance" of forbidden love.
Was it truly romantic? Sure, maybe to an outside onlooker, but I’ll be frank with you: it sucked. Being away from my boyfriend, both physically and what sometimes seemed like emotionally, was devastating. I remember being so envious of the happy couples in their "easy" relationships and lying in bed at night wondering what I did to deserve this kind of torture. Although that it is indeed true that distance makes the heart grow fonder, distance also breaks your heart every single day.
For all of the couples out there who feel like their relationship is boring because everything is going right, to the girlfriends that is getting restless being in a relationship where both partners in madly in love, to the boyfriends who are becoming uninterested with the relationship where they can see their partner whenever they want...please, take a step back. If you're reading this and your relationship is going okay... please feel grateful.
Forbidden love isn’t romantic, it’s painful. It’s tragic. It hurts. Even so, people do it, and people survive it. To anyone reading who is currently enduring a relationship that seems to be making your life harder, know that you are not alonea nd we are all rooting for you. And know that to everyone watching, you're living the ultimate love story.