Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The grass is greener...

In my long trip through the forests of singleness I’ve come across so many stories about relationships I can’t help wondering whether they were lessons send by the universe to learn at the right time. So I thought I’d go through some of the things I’ve learned from people from the other side of the tracks.
First of all, I’ve learned never to assume. People may hook up with someone and give it a week or think it’s the love of their lives, but you never know. Treating every relationship with the care and respect it deserves is something we owe to ourselves. Of course those first few weeks are amazing and all, but infatuation does not guarantee success on the long run, it’s a battle and we should never forget it.
Talking about battles, it’s a hell of a tough one to get to know the other. And one thing we should learn when being with someone is that we are two different views on reality that meet. And that don’t have to merge in order for the thing to work. I’m so tired of seeing people trying to tailor their partner in order to make him or her be just what they were looking for. People have a past and it might come to shatter the current relationship. Or it might just help us better understand the person next to us through the lens of their life experiences. Those we say we love deserve to be appreciated for who they are and not an image we have in our heads.
A third thing that’s always coming up in conversations is cheating. People cheat whether we like it or not and it’s not that easy to predict what leads them to that. They can cheat while holding our hand and they can cheat and we’ll never find out about it. I now believe it comes to happen when people start looking for excitement outside their relationship. It does not mean they may not still be in love with their partner. It means they want something else for a change. It sounds light, right? Well, it’s a lot more complicated than that. As I’ve noticed lately, commitment is about being able to make plans with the other person, about being able to assume they’d be there for you in certain situations. Now people say cheating wrecks trust, and I think it mostly wrecks that certainty that you can count on your partner. Of course, there’s also our ego and it would never accept other puppies eating from the same bowl. Just like in the case of having a hard time accepting the other’s romantic past, fear of cheating feeds on the ego. And it transforms people.
Another thing that transforms people is distance. Distance freaks us out because it increases this uncertainty that is incompatible with commitment. Because we feel it increases the likelihood of cheating and because we start fearing that we might become less and less relevant to the other. Distance changes people in that it makes their ego inflate and with it all those slimy parasites we call jealousy, fear and anger. I’ve known amazing couples who can fight it. It’s usually patient people who have come to terms with how they can make it work. As for the rest of us, we can barely keep the boat floating when we’re together.
And when that boat sinks, we may spend some time asking ourselves what went wrong. But breakups are a power race. And somebody gets left behind. The funny thing is some of the champs may eventually regret it. And remember taking things for granted was a retarded thing to do. I met this amazing woman who was crazy in love with her boyfriend and they eventually broke up due to some of the reasons above. And now she’s fighting to get him back, but he’s stringing her along because there is no guarantee he won’t get dumped again. One thing I’ve learned from most of my “coupled” friends is that taking things for granted is the wrong way to go. Whether you take for granted that that person’s always going to be there or the fact that you are bound to be cheated upon or left, relationships are just as complex as the people in them. I must set these words aside and read them when I’m with somebody, because we so often think in a box about our relationships, we pretend we know so much about where we stand and what we want from them that we forget we’ll always be scared little children in the face of love.
Oh, I almost forgot about love. Or what we may call ‘coup de foudre’ or at least infatuation. Now this is a lesson I want to pass on from this side of the fence. It’s an incredibly rare thing and it makes people so fragile and yet gives them this crazy strength to outdo themselves. Of course we could talk about it forever. But what I’m saying is, when you’ve lost your head, enjoy the weightlessness, because pretty soon all those other demons I’ve been writing about will come to bite you in the ass.

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