A cursory glance through my previous posts made me notice. Notice that posts on relationships, especially the Adam and Eve ones, have a much better pageview count than the others. And it only implied readers’ interest for such topics.
It is the biggest paradox of our lives that we so desire a fulfilling relationship with someone and the same relationship in time can become the bane of our existence. Or just a reason for some unnecessary strife. But there is absolutely no disparaging that a companionable relationship makes life so much more enjoyable, lovable and bearable despite its routine pricks.
What’s more interesting is that no relationship, begun whichever way as a fling, affair, mental or emotional connect, stays exclusive or confined to that mode for long. Not when both are mutually into it by personal choice. Of course men and women are naturally driven differently with respect to emotions and physicality but in time both aspects find a consensual existence in a relationship. And a healthy friendship can run parallel in the background.
A relationship completes you but it does not let you cease individually. In fact that is the hallmark of a beautiful relationship, to let you keep your individuality. This then also implies that no matter how enjoyable, supportive, honest and loving the partner or relationship is, you are still alone in it. All by yourself. And this aloneness might leave you feeling vulnerable and insecure at times but not permanently if you know your strengths. You have innumerable personal battles to fight on where you are the solo warrior. Friends, companions, partners can only so much as show their solidarity and understanding while the onus is upon you to win or lose the case. And though they are personal battles, most times they have a huge bearing and implication on the relationship status.
It’s such an evident reality that happy and cheerful people are magnetic. They draw and attract people with their effortless joyous vibe. But I might be all surly and sour because a phone call that should have come didn’t come, a particular reply I wanted to hear wasn’t uttered or a “love you too” at the end of the conversation was skipped. So now this upsets my mood and the annoyance gnaws me inside. Does it help me in anyway? Yes, forget charming more people, I might be repelling even the ones I have. Expectations are the biggest game spoilers. And we are such slaves to it that it is frustrating. Breaking this bondage is a horrendous task if not impossible; it is a matter of constant conscious effort to remind yourself.
Having said that, I have also often wondered that when you are hurt in a relationship, (and usually it is the non-fulfillment of expectations which hurt) do you or should you let your partner/lover know about it or work upon your aggrieved feelings individually? In the higher and spiritual purview of life maybe you should take personal responsibility of your pain and heal your emotional wounds on your own. But my devil’s advocate argues that unless you tell the other about your anguish, they have no way to know it. You pretend to be hunky dory, try to fix your emotions while the other goes about their business as usual. Unaware of your internal ache, he begins to assume that you are always sunny, unruffled and available at a beck and call. Almost taken for granted at times, and that’s not a fair place to be in any relationship.
However, it also makes me ponder, that when I reveal my hurt to the other, I am baring my weaknesses. I am showing how much influence and control I let the other have over my emotions. And this can be so easily misused and manipulated if so desired. On the other hand, admitting your pain to your partner needs courage and inner strength where you have overcome the fear of appearing vulnerable, insecure or sympathetic. You acknowledge that that person holds profound influence on you because he matters to you. Not because you can’t live without him but rather you wouldn’t want to.
However, down the line it also occurs to me that for how long or how much would you keep loving someone when the reciprocation doesn’t ever meet your expectations. And it could be simply because you and your partner are in different head spaces about the relationship and look at it in different lights. But the crux is do you accommodate the relationship whichever way possible because the pain of losing that person is worse than the pain of unrequited expectations?
There are no straight answers to these knotty questions. Relationships are very individualistic and volatile. They are highly subjective and personal where each fights his own battle essentially alone. However, I think there is a thin line between ego and self respect. Ego with expectations rings the death knell for any relationship. So its best kept at bay. At the same time, no relationship is satisfying, worthy or any longer pleasurable if you have begun compromising your self-respect and individuality for it. In the same sense, detachment and indifference have a hazy line between them. It’s good to be detached in a relationship but unjust to stretch it to apathy. No one likes to be ignored specially by the one you have given your heart to. And fool others but don’t fool yourself because you very well know when you take a step out of ego or otherwise.
You need a very strong and supple core to fight these internal battles. And this strength comes from deep inside you. It’s essentially a journey within that equips you to make the outward journey beautiful. A relationship could be such a great way of life if we could look at it this way… a massive resource for spiritual growth. When you come across someone who gives you an opportunity for mental pragmatism, emotional stability and physical fulfillment, the mortal life can’t get any better.
Just remember you are still alone and on your own in it till the very end…
(Disclaimer: The pronoun “he” has been used throughout only for ease of read and implies both men and women unbiasedly.)