I used to think if two people loved each other they could overcome any obstacle. Perhaps that is true for some people, but it is definitely not true for all people. It depends on the people, and it also depends on the obstacle.
In the 1992 movie Straight Talk, Dolly Parton plays a radio talk show psychologist whose character explains this in very simple terms. “A bird and a fish can fall in love,” she tells a caller. “But where do they make a home?”
In the beginning of a relationship, when the euphoria is running high, obstacles such as these may not yet be apparent. Or, if there is an awareness of them, they may seem insignificant and easily navigated.
Of course, no love is perfect, but some things cannot be overcome by love. Love can’t make a bird breathe under water, and it can’t make a fish feel at home in a tree.
I know it is completely unromantic of me to declare this, but sometimes . . . love is not enough. I think that’s why it’s so much fun to watch romantic comedies where two people with very obvious differences end up figuring out a way to make it all work out so they can live happily ever after. I wish life were that easy and love were that simple.
Since it isn’t, I like to think about Spiderman to make myself feel better. Sure, he’s a superhero and all, but let’s face it — his love life is cursed. Any woman who falls in love with him ends up being a target for his enemies. And I don’t care how good he looks in that red and blue onesie. He isn’t worth dying over.
“At least we don’t have that to worry about in the real world,” I tell myself. Then, I come back to this . . . love may not always be enough, but it’s always worth the real-world risks!