UPDATE: As of June 27, 2019, Song Joong Ki has announced that he is filing for divorce from Song Hye Kyo. Hailed as one of Korea’s dream couples, the Song-Song pair were married for 20 months. This article, written in response to Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung’s break-up in 2017, referenced Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo as an ideal romance. Unfortunately, their relationship has come to an end as well.
#OTP. One True Pairing.
It’s the Internet slang referring to couples who are so perfect for each other that they are considered, in the eyes of their fans, truly meant to be together.
Some crowd favourites include Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series. Or YouTube sensations Zoella and Alfie. Celebrity couples like Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo have the ideal relationship most can only dream of.
In a utopian world, #OTPs remain together forever. But with the recent slew of break-ups that threw the Internet into a frenzy – Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung – it’s got me wondering how realistic #OTPs are in the first place.
WHEN FOREVER IS OVER
#OTPs are #OTPs because they are not just any other couple. They are duos who have supposedly withstood the test of time and are seemingly made for each other. Everybody’s dream team. And in a contemporary dating scene of casual flings and careless love, theirs is a relief – a symbol of hope that love can be eternal.
Unfortunately, it is hope misplaced.
I learnt it the hard way when I found out that two of my friends, an #OTP in their own right, had ended their relationship after six years.
I was devastated. To me, they embodied everything a couple should aspire to be. They were both passionate about Jesus, supportive of each other’s calling and were a blessing to the people around them. Marriage was even on the cards! I simply couldn’t wrap my head around their tragic ending.
I was emotionally affected when they broke up, but I wasn’t just upset for my friends – I was upset for myself too. I had subconsciously pinned my dreams and aspirations of what I wanted my relationship to look like on them.
To hear of my #OTP’s love demise was a rude awakening – that there’s really no such thing as a perfect relationship. And part of that included coming to terms that I will never have a perfect relationship too.
I think that’s where reality hit me the most.
That beautiful, perfectly scripted on-screen romance? I’ll never have it. The heartwarming love stories I read about in bestselling novels? I’ll never have that either. My #OTPs had failed to live up to my expectations, and my dream bubble had burst along with the end of their relationships.
And that’s the thing about One True Pairings – they really are too good to be true.
A relationship is made up of two imperfect human beings. As flawed people, we’re bound to flare up over the littlest of issues, and we get unreasonably frustrated from time to time. It’s inevitable that we will trip up and fail each other, but these are also opportunities to grow in our character – together.
SET YOUR SIGHTS HIGHER
Another reason why we hold relationships in such high regard is because we seek to be known and loved – and there’s no other human relationship that surpasses the intimacy of a marriage.
For Christians, marriage has an even greater significance because the Bible draws parallels to the love between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5: 22-32). No wonder we celebrate marriage and lament separation.
In between the chorus of oohs and ahhs at the news of successful couples, we too easily take being attached as The Achievement in life, idolising the status. Yes, marriage is a beautiful witness to the world of the depth of God’s love for us.
But it is – like all other earthly relationships – merely a reflection of the ultimate #OTP: God and us.
When my friends called it quits, I realised upon further introspection that I wasn’t just worshipping their relationship or even relationships in general. I had subconsciously put my own relationship on a pedestal.
I’ve always been aware of the biblical symbolism rooted in the relationship between a man and a woman, and am convicted to use my relationship to demonstrate God’s love. But it’s a thin line between drawing people to God through my relationship and drawing people to my relationship.
The difference lies in whom we attribute the glory to.
NO RELATIONSHIP IS FOREVER
This whole incident brings to mind what Jesus once taught – that at the end of the day, all marital relationship will be annulled as there will no longer any need for husbands and wives when He comes back for us (Matthew 22:30). He Himself will be our greatest companion who will wholly satisfy us.
Sometimes we are so obsessed with the pleasure of temporal things we have on hand that we forget about the coming promises that God has guaranteed us. Because if a perfect relationship equates to everlasting love, then there is no perfect relationship other than the one we have with Jesus Christ.
That’s the thing about One True Pairings – they really are too good to be true.
Even as we take pride and joy in successful relationships, let’s not forget that God never intended for relationships to be an end unto themselves. Good or bad, a relationship is to point us upwards to a greater Love, for it is on Him that the idea of true love is built upon.
When my #OTP broke up, the reality that the things of this earth will one day fade away unsettled me.
But though my dreams were shattered, it was a good wake-up call – for I now recognise that I have a better and greater hope.