Learning to Love Like Orangoutangs

“We accept the love we think we deserve”

Do we? I begin to wonder this question as I am single at 24-years-old, with two short-term relationships packed under my belt. 

In the noon sun, I think that I deserve what that couple in the park has. Two matching blondes, sitting there with a picnic basket and two fluffy white Golden Doodles; I deserve whatever that picture perfect love looks like.

But when I’m stirring in my bed at night, I begin to wonder. Do we ever settle for less? Did I ever settle for less?

We have evolved from apes. Orangoutangs at the zoo mate simply. I doubt they scour Instagram for their mate’s pictures or overthink their potential suitors before bed.

They probably just look at each other and say in orangoutang speak:

“Yo, you smell like shit.”

“Let’s mate.”

This is so simple, so refined, and possibly the future of mankind? To be determined.

But I believe we all strive to look for more than we deserve.

Why? Well, we look for the picture-perfect man. 

The check list is impeccable. He must have a good job, good morals, good height, good hair, good boundaries, a good family, and more.

As we’re checking off this list, we begin to ignore our actual feelings, our primal instincts.

We ignore that immediate spark.

We don’t stop and smell the shit, primally speaking.

The check list continues, must have this, this, oh wait he’s mute, and this.

Skipping over those vital warning signs is America’s past-time.

I dated a guy, let’s call him Thad. Sweet, nice, good family, handsome, but boring. His comments bored me tears, he would drone on about engineering. 

But I would silently repeat to myself: he is attractive, he is successful.

He is the package. But if that package comes in pale grey wrapping paper without decorations, there is something wrong.

Many friends have struggled with this Perks of Being A Wallflower bullshit. They fly over their expectations, rising higher to find that guy that meets a certain criteria.

Perfection doesn’t exist, that dream man does not exist.

This love that you’re looking for doesn’t match a check list. It doesn’t come with a bow on top in fancy colors. It blends into your life seamlessly, as simple as grabbing a banana for your orangoutang beau.

Love Life, a show on HBO MAX that I highly, highly recommend, taught me something real and true.

A true love does not change you. It does not make you a better person. It comes in quietly, and shyly knocks on your door.

You should not mold into the senator’s wife. In one episode, she dates an older man and becomes engrossed in his high-society lifestyle. 

Showing her young age, at her boyfriend’s father’s funeral, she chugs wine and makes a toast, following the toast of the well-liked, older ex-wife.

She begins to put on different hats for the boys that match her checklist, and then she throws it out the window in the end. 

Our lives unfold in so many different patterns. As I grow older, I begin to realize that we don’t deserve anything.

We work hard to make our lives comfortable and then the rest is mere circumstance. We can’t control everything, we can’t be entitled to a certain type of life. We can’t become different people to fulfill our fantasies.

You love and then you lose. You end up married to the wrong person, and then to the right person.

But you are not entitled to anything.

Life does not work that way, it is a mystery of twists and turns that leads to unexpected pathways.

What do you guys think? Do you agree, do you disagree?

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