Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Wanna go with me?
Within the last couple of weeks, I had some very interesting talks about relationships, and friendships, and even family, with a whole lot of people (though some of them had more to say than others, of course...).
Besides that, only recently an implausibly great many of couples I've known now for years broke up their relationship totally 'unexpectedly' - at least to their friends, that was, and mostly to one of the partners.
Some of the thoughts that came to my mind through this time made me look at life in a pretty different way and want to share my feelings about that kinda subject with others.
To me it seems, the main reason the 'classic' relationship (i.e. couple that aims to stick together until the end of all days) and, subsequently, marriage still do not forfeit popularity among the largest part of the world we live in, is simply because of (make-believe) practicability and convenience.
In most political systems, calling the institution of two-person relationships into question, would not only effect economy in probably unthinkable and maybe unbearable ways, but also most certainly lead to broad questioning the whole system; no hegemonial thinking country could encourage a mass shift towards autonomy in hindsight to relationships and lifestyle.
Therefore, the common belief in a dozen-years love attachment to one single person may be reconsidered, in favor of strategies in the way of open relationships maybe, or whatever else comes to mind.
Wikipedia: 'Many nonmonogamous terms are flexible in definition, because they are based on criteria such as 'relationship' or 'love' that are themselves variably defined... In addition, usage creates distinctions beyond the raw definitions of the words.' (Yeah, I know. Citing Wikipedia. Pretty bad, isn't it.)
Focusing on only one partner who makes like 45 per cent of your way of living and thinking - and worrying, too - looks like a pretty dependent or non-self-determined kind of living. I know compromises are massively important in life, and not to be thought of negatively at all.
But dependancy also manifests itself in the deep com-passion to the partner; which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but from time to time turns out to be the worst feeling in the world - since you couldn't do anything about it or get away from it the time you - and noone else than you - would want to.
Besides, 'time management' is a term that comes to my mind at this point. Because it is something that hardly ever turns out to work in a really democratic way in a two-person relationship - as so many other things wouldn't, too.
To be more than honest, I haven't figured out how to cope with this problem myself; though not stating myself a rather 'dependant' person, I fall for people - very rarely, but still - sometimes so badly I should better worry about that kind of issue. At least every couple of years, maybe.
Now that's most definitely a topic I don't have to speechify about.
Sex simply is important. People how assure it's not knock me for a loop.
Me, after being asked if I'd be bothered if my 'hypothetical' friend made out with another girl, honestly: 'I think it would bother me. But that doesn't mean I don't want him/her to.' If I'd feel jealous, or betrayed? 'Oh god, no, I wouldn't feel betrayed! And well, maybe not even jealous... I'm pretty much into the whole idea of open relationships. Would make things just sooo much easier to everyone! And as long as this means sex with other people, I'm totally fine with it. Or, you know, friendship. Just not like... another 'deeper' relationship.' So what makes it something deeper? 'I think it means, hanging out lots, and having that... umm... very butterfly-like happy feeling, and thinking of nobody else and stuff. But to me, I wouldn't say it has anything to do with more-than-once/before/after/whatever sex. But you know, that's the point where i can clearly see my whole theory totally lacks of a basis!'
Anyway, I think jealousy is the very main reason for so many relationships (of whatever kind) not to work out in the end. What is it everyone is afraid of? How could one live in a relationship expecting his/her partner - one states to love and only wish the best for - to think of oneself as such a perfect and ideal human being that actually all of his/her deepest wishes and desires could be fulfilled by only just being oneself, without providing any variety or alternatives?
People will most likely in any case of uncertainty start thinking of what the future could bring and therefore develope expectations, ranging from relatively 'little' and rather realistic, up to pretty excessive, hypothetical and dreamy prospects. And while I can clearly see the obvious 'pros' of imaginative thinking into the future as to mulling over what will become and how to react to it, maybe it is right that not only living up to someone else's expectations but also - first and foremost - making up one's own raises the possibility of disappointment tremendously.
To admit it, I shouldn't throw stones while sitting in a glass house myself - but I'm definitely (and sometimes probably even rather desperately) trying to work this point out.
As already stated before, developing expectations and therefore classifying things in one's head may lead to whole shitloads of problems. Living in today's culture and society, trying to fit things, people and situations into a ready-made box full of preconceived opinions seems to be more than common - since it comes in so very handy! Still, it wouldn't make much sense if examined more closely.
Anyway, people - when communicating with each other - are used to agree on something, like on codes as language, specific motions, and so on. If there weren't 'labels' to put on some sort of collective things that kinda 'belong' to more people than only themselves (as given in any friend-/relationship/family), I believe everyone involved would get totally stressed out and exhausted trying to find out what things are about... and hence maybe even more disappointed, since they couldn't just turn off any expectation or wishes or whatever, as long as there's no common believes or agreements deriving from something as such as a general term, for example. And as they would - or could - not talk about it (and therefore agree on a term), people would just be left alone with their dreams, wishes, or whatever.
This all sounds fairly confusing, I know - but it somehow turns out to be a vicious circle.
And maybe, time has just come to get away from all the old labels and think about new ones.
A very natural and understandable concern with not spending all your life in a monogamy/matrimonial relationship is the fear of being alone as one grows older and older. This may also be a main factor in deciding to have children.
Still one should be aware of the fact that feeling left alone only comes from inside, and that this could likely happen to people living in a family, too. I believe that at any age, friends are the most important factor to your feelings, and irreplaceable by any other social structure.
Concentrate on all those you like or love, and when living in a partnership, do never forget about them - like most folks happen to do.
Besides, no, I am not looking forward to getting married any time soon.
And no, I am not planning on having children. Which also implies - and implied - I wouldn't carry a child to term in any (accidental) case.
Also I don't want this post to sound depressing in any way, since I am very happy with that insight I got on (my) life. I do not want to discourage or even run down anybody for the way they choose to live their life.
Simply I want some more people to re-think about situations and relationships, and their expectations towards others.
Plus: I worked on this post for quite a while now (shame on me!), aiming to figure out the final version. As for now, I have to give in - not thinking that something like a 'final' thought on stuff like that could possibly ever exist. Guess I should call it a work in progress.
Last but not least I wanted to cite two very wonderful views in connection to all that crap I wrote - pointed out to me by someone I'd like to thank very much for all his frankness again and again.
First there was this sentence someone I am sorry not to know at all posted in his latest blog:
"If your life flashes before your eyes and you don't get a boner, you're doing it wrong."
And then, there was that image of a sign made by Tantek, saying:
"Your failed dating model is not our problem..."
All in all, pretty fantastic.