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When the Vows Break: A Valentine for Kim Kardashian

Posted: 02/ 7/2012 3:58 pm

We're another day closer to Valentine's Day -- the commercialized holiday of romantic love traditionally celebrated with gifts of red roses, tasty chocolates and, well, other things that too often don't last.

You know, she says she'll call you tomorrow, he promises to be faithful and the whole 'til death do us part' vow -- especially when celebrities are involved.

Too, harsh?

Sorry, as a divorce lawyer I've developed a more realistic perspective on what happens when folks get caught up in the trappings of manufactured romance that are hallmarks -- greeting card pun intended -- of Cupid's holiday.

Romance can be magical emotional experience, but it's not always love. And even true romance certainly doesn't guarantee a marriage will survive.

Take the 72-day marriage of Kim Kardashian and Whatshisname, the NBA player.

On her reality E! network show, Kim provided some tearful insight into the dangers of getting caught up in the idea that love and marriage should follow a romantic script only to later change your mind.

"I honestly feel like I can't do this anymore with Kris," the newly wed Kardashian said on her show. "I feel like I got into this way too fast. I've been trying to be happy and trying to make this work but I really feel like I got caught up in the fairytale of like this whole thing."

Because romance -- on reality TV and in real life -- can alter a person's perspective and become an persuasive internal influence that affects decisions.

Or as Kim put it, "I think he thought I was, like, such a different person and I've become a different person with him. You know and I think he definitely notices that. I feel really bad and I feel like a failure. And I just don't know what to do."

And it wasn't until after all the princess wedding romance faded -- and the checks for exclusive wedding pictures cleared, cynical tabloid readers have said -- that Kim's fairytale got a reality check. She filed for divorce. Her husband demanded an annulment. They gave the wedding gifts to charity. And now, their divorce court hearings might be televised.

Still, Kim seems to be handling the split well. She had given talk show interviews, posed for modeling sessions, tweeted her deep thoughts and reportedly returned to the dating world.

That's another reality about relationships -- even the ones that start with such promise only to quickly end in embarrassing heartbreak and a messy expensive divorce -- you don't have to let the breakup destroy you if it doesn't work out.

So this Valentine's Day try to enjoy the candy and flowers and passionate emotions of the day with the one you love. But be real. When the time comes to consider marriage, give your fairytale a reality check. Talk with your love about your plans for the future, your views on work, children and finances. Discuss the tough topics -- religion, politics and the in-laws. Take your time.

Kim Kardashian wishes she did.

"I really thought that, like, he was the one and that I wanted to be with him, but I just can't do it any more," she said. "Like, I'm not happy. I should have waited. Like, I should have dated him longer."

Moments of romance might wilt like week-old roses, but love is patient and, among other things, it lasts.

And if it doesn't last, I'm here if you need me.