Relationships & stuff

I was challenged by a friend to write a blog about sex.  No, really!  On the other hand though, I thought it better to write about relationships first.  Much the more difficult to fathom.  Some spend a lifetime trying, and never get there.  Others seem to find and manage them without apparent difficulty, though you can never be certain of what goes on behind closed doors.

Besides, the subject of relationships is very fresh in my mind since I was in two with people about whom I cared deeply in 2011, both of whom finished with me.  In both cases I had tried hard to be a good partner.  Maybe that was the problem: trying too hard?

Relationships are always complex, difficult, perverse and occasionally impossible.  Things go haywire all the time, they lurch from one crisis to the next due to events, insecurities, arguments and anxieties. Sometimes you wonder why you bother.  Hellfire, it’s hard enough to find a like-minded person to begin with, they seem rare as hen’s teeth. Seems amazing any couple ever gets together, let alone parenting any new people into the world!

Ah, but for that feeling of ecstatic bliss we would sacrifice everything.  The feeling of true love surpasses any other good feeling, the oxytocin pumping around your brain and you’re soaring.  Does that make the pain and suffering worthwhile? Obviously, or we wouldn’t do it!

Sad to say, some people do grow weary of the pain and give up.  Perhaps our expectations are too high or have been disappointed too often, maybe we become weary and expect failure every time?  Judge for yourself: criteria will differ with everyone, but my primary expectation is of someone who is intelligent, articulate, strong, knows their own mind, my equal in every way.  Other than that I would hope we would share at least a few interests, but it would be expected for a partner to like other things and maybe educate one another in the process.  In fact, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could compensate for one another’s weaknesses, be more than the sum of the parts?

So, how do you deal with relationships to give them the greatest chance of success? There are any number of cliches about them, but in my experience the ones that ring true is that you have to work at them and not take each other for granted.  And indeed, accept people for who they are rather than expecting to change them, or indeed having jealousies about the past – we all have baggage and the past must surely stay past to prevent tiny nagging doubts becoming monsters from the deep.  The deciding factor might be that you can look beyond the differences and remember that we are all flawed, sometimes in different ways

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Just communicate regularly, listen to one another about your feelings, not be selfish,  stay honest and open.  Why in practice does it turn out so difficult to achieve?  Why can we be rational, intelligent entities most of the time, but then change into raging incoherent imbeciles?

Roger McGough, a poet much given to wry and amusing insights into human nature, puts it so well:

You and I by Roger McGough
I explain quietly. You
hear me shouting. You
try a new tack. I
feel old wounds reopen.You see both sides. I
see your blinkers. I
am placatory. You
sense a new selfishness.

I am a dove. You
recognize the hawk. You
offer an olive branch. I
feel the thorns.

You bleed. I
see crocodile tears. I
withdraw. You
reel from the impact.

But despite the contrary nature of these strange domestic arrangements that we form, they can and do work out for the best more often than not.  It’s a sort of miracle, not unlike the obstacles facing sperm in order to fertilise the egg.  It might defy logic, but sometimes the impossible truly does happen!


One thought on “Relationships & stuff”

  1. Like you I have been hurt in the past by giving my heart to soon and getting nothing in return only heartbreak , communication in a relationship is vital but without all the shouting and bringing up all the past which has no baring on the present or future as this only complicates things ,I have learned that you can’t change a person to your idea of what is your perfect partner, that comes with mutual love and respect for one another and give and take from you both.

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