Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thoughts on relationships

When I was little I always said I never wanted to get married or have kids. I just didn’t see the appeal or the point. I’m not sure whether or not that had anything to do with the husband part. Over the years I changed that perspective a little bit, not so much about the traditional family part, but when I became a teenager the idea of relationships did become more appealing.

Not that I had a clue about what a relationship was supposed to be like, but of course I had lots of ideas or more precisely, weird dream like expectations. Where do we get these ideas from? Surely not from watching our parents’ relationships?

Are we brainwashed with movie fairytales of wonderfully exciting amazing relationships? Or is it something more inherent, this deep desire or need to have this special bond with someone that goes beyond every other bond we have with the people around us?

Regardless of the answers to these questions, it’s true that we tend to approach relationships with a lot of preconceived notions and expectations of what it should be like. They do change over the years – either experience makes us more realistic or needs and ideas about relationships change.

I find romantic relationships very fascinating, especially when they either really work well or when they don’t work at all, but people still keep at it making the same mistakes over and over again. Of course I am talking about other people’s relationships here. Mine are not hardly as fascinating, nor am I able to reflect on them as objectively.

You can learn a lot from other people’s relationships. And not just how not to do things or to figure out what you do not want. Sometimes you also learn to appreciate other perspectives, different ways you can have connections with people, how you can make relationships work that might be very different to how most people do it.

Another thing that fascinates me is that sometimes the world seems to be divided into relationship and non-relationship people. With that I mean is that some people always seem to be in relationships. They are always dating or go from one boyfriend or girlfriend to the next.

Then there are people who are pretty much single most of the time. They might still have active romantic lives, but this usually doesn’t mean a lot of long term relationships. It always makes me wonder if this means two different kinds of people or if our lives just help remain the status quo.

For example, people who are single tend to have a lot of single friends and because they are single they spend a lot of time together. Whereas long term relationship people often seem to hang out with other couples, being very couply together.

Over time the relationship folks leave the single group and the single people stop hanging out with the couples and join the opposite group. Of course things aren’t really that black and white, but I think there is some truth in it.

In reality we can probably divide people in all sorts of categories and there are many different individual ways that people make their relationships work. Just as there are many different kinds or relationships.

Some people see things very black and white, as in you have friendships and there’s romantic relationships. I tend to think there’s a whole spectrum of possible relationships you can have with people. They can range from mere acquaintances to soul mates and everything in between.

As with most things, labels and categories do not really matter here. What matters is that whenever you meet someone that you think is awesome and they like your company too that is something very cool and special that should be treasured.


mega said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mega said...

Damn... wrong comment before :)

Anyway, i still find it really weird how familiar your posts are.

When i was younger i also always said i would never ever get married. My father was so proud he would show me off to all his friends. Ehehe

But at the time i knew it was because i could never live with a man... i didn't know why but i knew it was because of it.

Natazzz said...

LOL you had me really puzzled with that first comment.

Perhaps it's not that we are that similar, but maybe we just happen to be just like everybody else...

T.C. Dale said...

I think it's true that we are "brainwashed" about relationships, at least in America. The idea of "true love", I think is especially dangerous. That is, the "Someday I'll meet the perfect person, there will be fireworks and butterflies and angels singing, we'll never have fights, we'll always be in love, and our passion will last the rest of our lives."

In reality, fireworks tend to burn people. Butterflies fly away, leaving you with an ordinary relationship. That's not necessarily a bad thing, either. Passion fades over time -- it's natural. But people would rather base their partner choice on "do we have great sex right now?" rather than "Am I compatible with this person personality-wise, values-wise, financial-wise, etc., for 20-40 years?"

Of course, sometimes you get -- or can work at a relationship and make -- the best of both worlds: a compatible but passionate relationship that lasts for ages.

But if you want "till death do us part", lay off the fireworks. Otherwise, if you want lots of fireworks, try serial monogamy.

unfolder said...

Maybe we're not more brainwashed about relationships than we are about life itself ...
I seek passion in my life as well as my relationships ... whether they are friendly or romantic.

I love and will try to live by your ending :)
"What matters is that whenever you meet someone that you think is awesome and they like your company too that is something very cool and special that should be treasured."

Natazzz said...

TC Dale, I agree with most of what you wrote...however, I am with unfolder in saying I am a big believer in passion. Of any kind. You should feel very passionate about the person you are spending your time with...

Faith said...

I've always wanted to get married. I never dreamt about the perfect wedding but I dreamt about being married. About having a partner (when I was young, I never fantasized in genders and then there was a short confusion phase and then it was just a woman) who I could share my days with.

My parent's marriage was god awful and their divorce was probably the best thing to ever happen to everyone involved. Still, I never stopped wanting what I saw in my fantasies. And my fantasies were never perfect. There was arguing and trouble but also a lot of love, intimacy, something to fight for and, in my darkest days, something to live for.

I think we are definitely influenced by the media but there is something inside of as well.

The moment I laid eyes on my girlfriend, I knew we'd be together forever. And I still think that. Every day I wake up with her feels right, feels comfortable.

I know she'll b the one I marry, have children with and I can't wait. I believe in true love. Not the sappy kind but real, true, deep love. I found it.

Natazzz said...

Thanks for sharing faith, your story put a huge smile on my face :-)