Staying for the Story

They meet. They catch eyes. Sparks fly. There are thousands of these stories occurring right now all across the world.

And then…there is that exceptional story. You know what I’m talking about. The one a couple tells that has everyone listening with wide eyes.  The one that, no matter how many times it’s told, forces the smiling storytellers to steal knowing glances at each other.

The one that has all the major elements of an epic romance: (1) a chance meeting (2) against all odds (3) during a time of tragedy.  The kind of tale told with pride while the storytellers revel in the envy of their audience. And when they are alone, they ponder how life gifted them with something so wonderfully improbable.

And yet, many of these relationships end. As magical as the subsequent love story is – they do end. And through tears, heartache and sorrow, one of them always asks: “Why did I remain for as long as I did?” The answer is simple.

The story.

Or rather, what that story meant. You see, people who are blessed (and, arguably, plagued) by an exceptional “how we met” story, have an extra set of blinders in addition to the ones already bestowed by love.  The story becomes a precedent for reference when red flags emerged. It becomes the reason to give things another chance.  It is our belief in the infallible decision-making of Fate that makes us pause when we think we have had enough. “Fate wouldn’t just do this without a reason!” we exclaim.

And so we stay.

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