Relationships are a complex thing. Now that’s an understatement.
And I’m not talking about the scientific or mathematical kind. Nope, this is about the humanistic type. One which involves feelings, perpetual ups and downs, excitement and happiness, fears and loneliness. This won’t be Relationships 101 but I just want to tread a little on some of my recent experiences dealing with friends and acquaintances. Safe to say I’ve been enlightened by my recent ‘discoveries’ and, in some instances, let down by nonsensical expectations.
I’ve been introduced to a lot of interesting words recently pertaining to interpersonal relationships.. words like fantasy, breath of fresh air, restraint, domestic boyfie. Those are not normally the words one would want to use to describe their relationships. Most would prefer words like happiness, lovely, forever and ever, peace. I guess in the real world there tends to be more variation than fairytale perfection. I’m attributing that to disillusionment.
Yep, we tend to be affected by that more than we care to admit. Especially for the newbies in this game. A friend of mine likened it to managing people in the office i.e. HOPE MANAGEMENT. That’s what it is. We tend to want something so badly we forget the harsh realities of life and the complexities of managing more that we can chew. So we create alternate realities, we live another life, we essentially disillusion ourselves. Makes sense? Personal admission is important; I’m guilty of such things too.
For the uninitiated allow me to pass on what little wisdom I might have to assist in your road less travelled. This is of course my personal view only and any misgivings or negative outcome from taking this advice is solely the responsibility of the person taking the jump 😉
1. Always think of long term effects, needs & wants. Just like wealth management, short term gains should not be the driving factor in wanting a relationship to begin. Someone will get hurt.
2. Don’t hurt innocent people! And by that I mean the person you’re currently ‘engaging’. Sometimes it’s easy to know what YOU want but the other person might not feel the same way.
3. Learn to let go. The saying goes “If you care about someone deeply, let them go”. Couldn’t agree more. Being overprotective, domineering or possessive just doesn’t cut it in todays day and age. If you’re not getting the response you want from the other person then let it be and move on. Being pushy will only make matters worse.
4. There’s no such thing as perfection. Only unconditional tolerance. Yes, that’s the magic ingredient in any successful long term relationship. Give and take, mutual understanding. And the only way you can get that is if you learn to understand the person. Therefore…
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate! If you want to take the plunge, express it. If you feel it’s nearing the end, say it. A lot of problems in life arise because people don’t talk. But of course do it eloquently (see point 2). Respond accordingly as well. Learn to listen before making yourself heard.
As with everything in life, there’s no one surefire solution to everything. We just have to expect the unexpected, live life to the fullest and learn from our experiences. No regrets okay?! These past few months have been one of the most challenging in my life and god only knows how difficult it has been. But what would life be without these ‘moments’ right? The beauty of relationships which have gone through it all is that if you survive it intact then you know the best of times lie ahead, therefore the decisions you’ve made have been wise. I think that’s reason enough to celebrate… 😉 Let me leave you with a wonderful quote given to me by a person who has been more than a willing soul to comfort, listen and advice me about matters of the heart:-
‘I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death’. – Anon.