My Parents’ Marriage Taught Me Everything I Know About Love

With the divorce rate as high as it is, I’m extremely lucky that my parents are still together and their marriage is still going strong. But what I hear from my friends is that it’s weird when your parents still talk and show affection for one another, all from under the same roof. And apparently, seeing them like that has influenced my own views on love and life – views that aren’t always shared and that might make me the weird, naive one.

  1. I believe in soulmates. If there’s anything my parents have taught me, it’s that it really does seem like some people are made for each other. No matter how rude or quiet you are, there will always be someone who’s extra forgiving and talkative to balance it out.
  2. I still think people should eat dinner at the table together. But I guess everyone just grabs a plate and goes their separate ways now, and usually it takes them to the TV. I learned this from having dinner at friends’ houses.
  3. I’ve been called too “cutesy.” And I blame my parents for that. After all, they were the ones being overly cute together for the past 25 years and counting. It’s not my fault that I like making cute voices and sandwich pandas.
  4. When I see myself and my boyfriend in the future, it’s always as some version of my parents. Only there aren’t a million little kids running around setting the house on fire. Not like I ever did that… Also, is that weird?
  5. I’ve also been called too romantic or optimistic. Seriously? Just because I believe it’s possible for two people to actually love each other and stay together for the rest of their lives?
  6. It’s hard for me to relate to others whose parents are divorced, separated, or only together for reasons other than love. I just don’t know what it’s like, and it seems like more than half the people I meet now have that background.
  7. I’m always talking about my parents. It’s kind of like how parents talk about their kids’ achievements, only the other way around. I’m sure people hate it just as much, though.
  8. I value my relationships a lot, because I can see firsthand how important they are. No matter how cheesy that sounds, I see how happy my parents are together. And after moving out of the house, I also don’t need to worry because I know they’re taking care of each other.
  9. I don’t scoff when movies end happily ever after. I’ve never imagined Cinderella becoming a total bitch in five years and the Prince drinking himself to death to escape her nagging. Though now that I mention it, that might make a good story…
  10. I believe love really can do amazing things. Like keep you sane even in the toughest or darkest of times. My outlook on love has been greatly influenced by the love I grew up with, and I don’t care if that makes me naive, because it was all worth it.
Chelsey is a freelance writer in NYC. She's pretty normal by today's standards, or at least that's what her mother tells her.