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Like most people, we go through dating and meeting new people. There may not be fireworks initially, there might not even be butterflies fluttering in your stomachs, and we succumb to the "grass is greener on the other side" mentality and we continue on our meeting new people and dating cycle again. It can be compared to an addiction, except we seem to addict to romantic fantasy.

We seem to forget the work that goes into a relationship, only focusing on the glossy outside. We breathe into the scent of the rose in Beauty and the Beast and feel love is eternal but we do forget that Belle really did have to overlook all of the Beast's truly unpleasant behaviour to see there was a good guy under all that fur.

What is our definition of real love, romance and dare I say it, marriage? Maybe it's about deciding to be with this one person, every day even if they annoy me with bad jokes. Maybe the dream is actually being with a kind, loving, trustworthy guy who completely understands me and accepts my idiosyncrasies and loves me anyway. By allowing ourselves to mourn the loss of the fantasy and start embracing the reality, we permit ourselves to feel that disappointment and realize "Hey, this is not that bad after all". It's only when we compare our partner to the impossible ideal is when we will feel that pang of "let's see what is out there".

The thing is, relationships are not a fix-all solution to life's challenges. Like everything else, it requires work and dedication. Most of the time, it is made up of two broken people who reflect a broken world, trying to find the pieces and fix each other to the best they can. It calls for the sacrifice of choice, and day to day decisions – choosing selflessness versus being selfish, peace over being right, intimacy over control – contradictions galore.

When I listen to the radio and hear the numerous love songs and equally plentiful breakup songs, I wonder sometimes is love and the happily ever after worth all this effort? But yes, it is but only if you go into it with your eyes wide open and have your expectations on the table. Openness and communication are key, otherwise it will be like your dream will end up a nightmare.

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