As a child I had a bad habit of reading ahead. Not just reading ahead, but reading the ending of the novel, and taking in the very last paragraph first. I wanted to know if the book ended in an interesting way or not. Because if the ending didn’t captivate me the book wasn’t worth reading even if I had no idea what the novel was about. Throughout my life, neither the journey nor the destination appealed to me; it was the ending that had some sort of satisfaction to it. The ending was what made it worth it or not. But I wonder, does reading the ending in the beginning ruin the rest of the story?

Now let me be clear there is a difference between the ending and destination. In a relationship the destination are milestones: first date, first kiss, first apartment, engagement, a wedding, and other beautiful memories that comprise the romantic body of that relationship. But an ending is the compact collection of all of the milestones wrapped in a pretty bow. The moment at the end of your life or relationship, whichever comes first, when you look back and say whether the journey of your relationship was worth it or not.

When you meet someone and they ask you on a date; it’s an answer that is simply yes or no. But when you’re on the date and genuinely get to know the other person we all think… are they worth it? A date is a date, and if it doesn’t work out you wasted what? An hour, maybe two hours, and depending on who you are maybe a few bucks? That’s easy to recover from, unlike spending years with someone only to find out you weren’t satisfied with the results.

Books take time to read. They can take days, weeks, or even upwards of a month depending on the length of the novel and how fast you read. The same applies to love. How long do you see the relationship lasting and how fast do you want to go? We all have a Pinterest board or vision board of what we want our dream life to look like, but is it okay to have those expectations? Sure we can deal with stuff that we have direct control over such as what career we chase, what clothes we wear, what we eat, etc, but what about bigger items that require compromise such as babies and marriage? When deciding on a relationship, is it best to read the ending or is it better to just go with the flow?

Is it really that important to have two kids, get married on the beach, or live in the city? What if you change your mind later on and decide you want three kids instead, and you let go of a guy because you were sure you wanted two and he wanted more. We as humans, regardless of gender, change. We change every year, every month, every day, and every second. We have our own ironclad vision in our heads that we try to justify not calling a guy back because he doesn’t like the color coral and that is literally the main color you want at your dream wedding. But, when the decision needs to be made should we compromise certain dreams in an effort to have the hope of having a good ending?

Because in reality we can’t see the future. We don’t get to pick up our life book and say this chapter sucks I’m skipping ahead, or wow this character is the worst if only the main character knew. Even if we did we may not like how our story unfolds from the perspective we have right now. Bringing to light a question we may not have asked ourselves… have we become toxically independent? Leading with an unclenching grip on our future out of fear of not getting what we want, are we negating to acknowledge the dreams of our partners? We dream as kids what we want out of life, but as adults we know life doesn’t always go our way, so why do we still act like it does? There’s so much fear in entering a relationship questioning when, who, and how that dating now feels each party is giving the third degree trying to figure out if the glass slipper fits.

We all want to know: do I get the perfect job, do I marry prince charming, do I marry before I’m 35, do I have a home in the countryside, do I have children, and so much more that even the universe is like relax. It’s okay to not know, maybe you’ll hate the ending, maybe you’ll have an ending like Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, and all the princesses combined. But for now we live in the present and the only thing we have of the future is hope. It’s okay to have dreams, but allow your dreams to breathe. Because who knows maybe that frog you decided not to call back was the prince you were looking for this whole time.

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