Relationships always started with that heady, swoonish period, where the other person is like some new invention that suddenly solves all life's worst problems, like losing socks in the dryer or toasting bagels without burning the edges. At this phase, which usually lasts about six weeks max, the other person is perfect. But at six weeks and two days, the cracks begin to show; not real structural damage yet, but little things that niggle and nag. Like the way they always assume you'll pay for your own movie, just because you did once, or how they use the dashboard of their car as an imaginary keyboard at long stoplights. Once, you might have thought this was cute, or endearing. Now, it annoys you, but not enough to change anything. Come week eight, though, the strain is starting to show. This person is, in fact, human, and here's where most relationships splinter and die. Because either you can stick around and deal with these problems, or ease out gracefully, knowing that at some point in the not-too-distant future, there will emerge another perfect person, who will fix everything, at least for six weeks.
Such is the common process of marriage. A youth and maiden meeting by chance, or brought together by artifice, exchange glances, reciprocate civilities, go home, and dream of one another. Having little to divert attention, or diversify thought, they find themselves uneasy when they are apart, and therefore conclude that they shall be happy together. They marry, and discover what nothing but voluntary blindness had before concealed; they wear out life in altercations, and charge nature with cruelty.
—Samuel Johnson in The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia
—Sarah Dessen in What Happened to Goodbye
A woman can be anything the man who loves her would have her be.
If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
I never stopped loving you. Even when I was in love with someone else.
—Jessie Evans in Melt with You
Every single morning, I smell him. Even when I've changed my sheets, I smell him. When I roll onto the side of the bed he was on, I smell him. I can almost feel him—and then I want to call him. I wanna call him because I feel so helpless. So alone. All I wanna do is hear his voice.
—Shanora Williams in Who We Are
I know you'll leave. I don't have any grand illusions.
There are things in life you can change—your weight, your appearance, your mindset, etc.—but there is one thing you cannot change and that is other people. Try as we might, we cannot get people to love us. Even when we are the coolest best version of ourselves someone is going to say, "Not for me." But if we feel good about ourselves we can shrug it off and say, "It's just a date," and know that there will be others.
—Greg Behrendt in It's Just a Date