Recently I spoke to a dear male friend who had been going steady with a nice lady for a few years. I was quite surprised therefore to hear that they had broken up. When asked why, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “It wasn’t going anywhere”. It was a very strange reply and it set me thinking and questioning the answer…
- Why does a relationship have to reach a destination?
- Since when do relationships become goals and aims to be achieved?
- Why can’t a man or a woman just enjoy the fact that they are together and not want daily excitement, newness, change etc. in it?
- Is it so important for us to want novelty and variety in everything…can some things not be comfortable and routine?
- Why are expectations so high from romantic relationships or marriage as compared to others like between siblings, friendships etc.?
- Does the fact that you are generally bored lead you to want excitement from every aspect of your life?
- Is it not a big strain on your better half to constantly keep you excited and happy?
Relationships of the heart are probably the toughest to maintain, as unlike blood relationships, they are something or someone you CHOOSE. So this need to constantly keep it going, ensuring that you or your better half is always getting something from it and being insecure about it all the time. Rather than making things better, inevitably it leads to problems as one is in a constant evaluation mode with it and probably working too hard at maintaining it.
Have we forgotten the art of doing nothing, of just being, of just growing in the relationship together without getting too worried and edgy about it? Why this need to question it, demand from it and assess and compare it with relationships of other ‘couples’ around?
Spouses often complain to the other – “we don’t do anything together”…”there is no spontaneity in our relationship”…”you have become a parent more than a spouse”… “There are no sparks”…and the ultimate “do you love me?”
Notice, that the underlined words are all action oriented words – the need expressed is that only if there is action and activity is the relationship worthwhile. Just the fact that you have chosen someone to spend your life with, chosen him or her above everyone else, are content and comfortable to be with him/her and are reassured that there is someone in this whole vast universe who is chosen to spend the rest of his/her life with you; is not sufficient.
Would it not be better to just enjoy this togetherness and not expect action from it at all times and not submerge each other with expectations that just cannot be humanly met? Relationships grow and go through phases, if only we were able to recognize and be aware of each phase and enjoy it rather than compare with the rush of the early phase or the action of the first phase. The action that one wants is there except one has to recognize it and adjust to its speed, slow as it may be.