“When real-world relationships get confusing, we grasp for the closest romantic trope that helps everything make sense: Love at First Sight. Always a Bridesmaid. The One That Got Away. The Love of My Life. At best, these stories make imperfect fits for our big, complicated lives. At worst, they force us into ways of thinking that make us miserable and set us up for failure. That’s why it’s so important for us to build alternative romantic narratives for ourselves, ones that conform more closely to our lives as we want to live them. We need our own tropes to fall back on, our own arcs to lean on in times of stress and doubt and confusion.