The Notebook Effect

While catching up with family and friends one day, a friend of mine offered up the suggestion of the topic the Notebook Effect. The name alone intrigued me so I listened intently for where she was going with the analogy. She begged the question, “How long should someone wait for someone else to choose them?” At this point I was sold on the topic because I had posed the question to myself many times over the years. I’m just going to tell you upfront, I am not going to give you a direct answer. You all should know by now giving magical numbers to answer complicated questions is not my thing. I would like to though explore this concept and what impact the media plays on people’s decision on the matter.

For the few of you who may not know, the Notebook is either one of the best or worst love stories ever told depending on your perception. It tells the story of two love struck people who are forbidden to be together because of their socioeconomic status. After the young man leaves to war he returns to find his old flame is engaged. Mind you the entire time he was away he was writing letters declaring his love for her but she never received the letters. Anyway they reconnect and the sparks fly, but as I stated before, she is engaged. She eventually as you can imagine makes the tough decision and chooses her once forbidden love. Now there is a lot of moments in which this man goes out his way to prove his love for this woman. He is constantly hoping that she fights against what others say and that she goes with her heart. This even brings up the issue of how much should you have to do to prove to someone you are right for them. That’s another post for another day though.

Maybe some of you have never been in this type of situation. For the rest of us, it is a scenario we often dread. The one in which you have fallen for someone and you BELIEVE (this is the key word here) they have fallen for you too. This is where things get sticky and vary for everyone. There is usually some kind of barrier that presents itself and makes it difficult for the two of you to be together. It could be distance, careers, lack of time or whatever. Either way, there is some barrier that supposedly (another key word) keeps y’all apart. So the problem then becomes, how long do you wait until the situation has rectified itself? I think the first question you have to ask yourself is, “Is this issue a real reason not to be together?” I think sometimes we make bigger issues out of things than what there really is. I know for a fact after looking back over situations in my own life, there were times me and that other person could have made things work. Instead we chose to give up on things because we created unnecessary roadblocks to what may have been a successful relationship. If the roadblock is real, you have to be honest with yourself and ask “is this person worth waiting on?”

The key question is do you believe that two people are meant for each other? That is the determining factor when most people decide to wait on someone. Most people wait to be chosen because they believe in their heart they are meant to be with the person they are waiting on. I personally believe two people can be made for each other. I also believe they are not the ONLY two people made for each other. I do not believe that there is only one person made for each of us. If that were the case it would be very discouraging trying to find that one person on an earth made up of over six billion people. I do though think it is very difficult to walk away from someone when you BELIEVE (that word again) this person is someone made for you. The point I’m making is there is more than one person made for you so that should be a determining factor to whether or not you should wait on someone. When you know you have the potential to meet someone else with these same great qualities, it is less pressing to wait for this particular person. Just keep in mind though, you have to actually meet someone else with these same great qualities. If it was that easy you wouldn’t be in this predicament though. Just saying….

The question that has become more pressing to me though is beyond time. My concern is now is, are we romanticizing breaking up happy homes to get the person who was “meant” for you. Going back to the Notebook, again as stated before, this woman was engaged. According to Biblical standards, an engagement is the first step to the marriage. Yet we love the fact these two characters got together. Another great example of this is one of our favorite tv couples, Dewayne and Whitley from A Different World. We all say one of our favorite television moments is when Dewayne boldly proclaimed his love for Whitley on her wedding day and she chooses him. While on one hand this seems extremely romantic because we always knew they should be together, we never discuss how her almost husband had to feel. Yes, two people in these situations got the person and their happily ever after. There is a third forgotten person though who was dragged into the situation who now has to pick up the pieces of what just happened. Is it ok to still hold on to someone that has moved on to someone else? Has entertainment and media made us believe this is ok?

Me personally, I believe that people need to come to their realizations about people sooner than later. If you know deep down in your heart you really want to be with someone, do not drag other people into your fear of committing to the person you know you really want. It is unfair to the person you’re passing the time with when you know your heart is with someone else. You knew the whole time you wanted to be with another person. As far as the other person, you have to do your own soul searching as to whether or not that is something you are willing to do. Are you ok with the idea of ruining someone else’s relationship to be with someone? Yeah the media makes it seem romantic but is that something you can live with in your relationship moving forward? The argument to that is if you believe you were made for someone, should you have to suffer without them because they messed up and got with someone else? Should you deny yourself the person you BELIEVE (and here it is again) is made for you?

I am all about evaluating yourself and your specific situation. I cannot tell anyone whether they should wait for someone or not. What I can tell you is there are some factors to consider before you make such a decision. You have to look at the situation for what it really is and how you really feel. I have seen people successfully wait on people and I have also seen people unfortunately waste a lot of time on people who weren’t trying to be waited on. The key is being completed honest with yourself and that person. You also have to be willing to take the risk either way. If you decide to wait you risk heartbreak, rejection and time lost. If you decide to walk away, you risk losing the opportunity at a great relationship, your heart’s desire and the possibility of never finding anyone else like them. My only advice is to take the risk you know your heart can handle reaping the repercussions of for the rest of your life. Just be sure to make that decision off of sound judgement, not off a romanticized skewed view of society. Just remember that honesty is the key to unlocking your hearts true longing. Choose wisely…….

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