Lesson 24: Nicholas Sparks Is Not The Author Of Your Life
If you have yet to endure the torture that is a Nicholas Sparks movie marathon, I highly suggest you look into it purely as a service to yourself. Though the sappy movies seem out of place in single girl world, they’re actually a pretty effective learning tool – of what not to do.
Nicholas Sparks, author of our favorite tear jerking, secret guilty pleasure movies, shared the formula to his book-to-movie love stories. “(Romances) are all essentially the same story: You’ve got a woman, she’s down on her luck, she meets the handsome stranger who falls desperately in love with her, but he’s got these quirks, she must change him, and they have their conflicts, and then they end up happily ever after,” Sparks said.
While the roller coaster dramas from the likes of The Notebook and Dear John work beautifully on your television screen, they don’t transfer so well into reality. Even as Sparks’ novels point out some valid points about love, like that it can happen unexpectedly or that it can change a person or it’s tendency for turbulence, it’s imperative that single girls not set a “Nicholas Sparks Standard” for their love lives.
First things first, you don’t have to be down on your luck to fall in love. Plenty of women find love when they achieve all of the goals they set for themselves, when their lives are vibrant and full without the existence of a go-to plus one. And as much as I hate to sound like your mother, people tend to be attracted to other happy people. A damsel in distress does not always a love story make. So live your life, fall in love or don’t, but don’t think that love only comes along when you need to be lifted out of a rut.
Secondly, our modern dating scene does not cater well to the idea of falling “desperately in love.” Falling in love? Yes. Desperately? Not so much. I mean, what girl these days wants to be viewed as desperate? And if single girls spend so much energy trying not to appear desperate, what makes us think that single guys would want to be portrayed that way? What with school, social lives, family, mid-college crises, nobody our age has the time to fall “desperately in love.” Though there are always exceptions, nowadays carving your initials into a tree makes way for more efficient proclamations of his love, like a quickie text in between classes.
Lastly, changing a person rarely ensures a “happily ever after.” If there’s anything The Hills has taught me, it’s that you can’t change a person. (Sure, the trials and tribulations of Lauren Conrad are not the most credible source for wisdom, but good advice nonetheless.) Love is not a permission slip to change a man. Love can change people but people can’t change people.
There will always be those girls who believe their lives will someday be a Nicholas Sparks novel and they believe it to the core because they need to. Without the “Nicholas Sparks Standard” those girls wouldn’t survive because they’re too afraid to figure out a love story mold of their own. Truly great love stories exist but that doesn’t mean they have to follow the formula of the ones that have already been written.
Got it? Feel empowered? Good. Now get the first 23 rules of the Single Girl Society right here.