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home : opinions :   June 24, 2016

7/10/2013 1:37:00 PM
Column: Getting to know you

Alicia LeGrand-Riniker

“Getting to Know You” is a song from the musical “The King and I” in which Anna Leonowens, a British governess assigned to teach the children of the King of Siam, sings about getting to know her students who have different backgrounds and life experiences than her. During her time there she develops a love-hate relationship with the king as they try to understand each others’ differences. Toward the end of the movie you are lead to believe they care deeply for each other, but either will admit it.
This is just one of thousands of love movies Hollywood produces each year that often give people a misunderstanding about love. We hear stories about waiting for “the one” whom we will meet at the “perfect moment” and he or she will “complete us.” I don’t claim to be an expert about it and I do not think anyone can have a perfect love or relationship. However, I agree with “The King and I” that often times it is a love-hate relationship.
I got married two months ago. Love is a growing and changing thing. The person you love will change, you will change and your lives will change. What Hollywood does not tell us is it is a struggle. That riding off into the sunset moment will end and the morning begins with a fight because he forgot to put his clothes in the hamper and she did not put the cap on the toothpaste.
Now like I said I am not claiming to be an expert, but waiting until I was a little older to get married has caused me to know several people who have gone through the process. My husband and I also set ourselves on a path which I believe gave us a better chance at understanding relationships and problems. Again we are not perfect but that is the point. Over the next few columns I hope to offer some advice to younger people who are in a relationship, getting married or recently did so.
The first thing you must know is there is no “the one.” Hopefully this does not depress you. I simply mean to say that you can not find a perfect person in this world. Let’s look at it this way. Are you perfect? If you think you are, then you should stop reading because nothing I say next will help.
I am not perfect. Like all people I have days where I do or say the wrong thing or sometimes cause others to do the same. Just the other day it took me half the morning to realize I grabbed my brown shoes to wear with my black pants.
So why do we expect the person we love to be perfect and make us whole. It is an unrealistic expectation that places a lot of pressure on a person. The funny thing is I feel we understand they will never meet it and we still get upset about it. We cannot expect a person to complete us, and I will develop that thought in a later column.
Now I want to focus on meeting a person at that perfect moment. You know, that moment when you look across the room and you see that beautiful stranger across the way. I will admit that there are a lot of amazing first meeting stories and there are not. However, you cannot let a moment define your relationship and you cannot hold your breath until one happens. Learn to appreciate what you have.
I have to admit that after awhile I became very cynical of predestined love. I did not know that while I was growing up in Dubuque, Iowa, my future husband was growing up in Okinawa, Japan. He would eventually move to Dubuque because his father, who was in the military, was from there. I would move to Osaka, Japan after I graduated college and later visited Okinawa. When I moved back from Japan and he graduated from college, we both had trouble finding jobs and ended up working at Best Buy together. We bonded over our mutual life experiences.
However, our common bond and interests are not enough to sustain our life together. It is only a gateway to opening up our relationship. We have different upbringings and life experiences that have given us different personalities and sometimes different opinions. We have to work hard to keep our relationship healthy and happy. If you want to know more, I will continue to share in my future columns.

Alicia LeGrand-Riniker can be reached at (815) 220-6931 or

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