Now, I am in no position to claim any sort of authority when it comes to relationships. Let’s just get that our of the way right now. That’s not to say that I haven’t done the time or read the books, or experienced the heartache and wobbled in the joy, but I know that every relationship is different. There is no way that I (or anyone else) can sit and dictate what is the right or wrong way to handle a partner or a marriage, or anything else that takes place in a relationship. However, there are a few insights that I find are widely applicable to all couples – because even with all the things that make couples unique, these are there are fundamental principles.
This may seem a bit obvious, but it is something that people are sometimes blindsided towards. There are a whole range of reasons why fall in love with someone; it can start with physical attraction; it could be the fact that they spoil you and want to look after you; it could even be that they remind you of someone who used to know. All these reasons are not sustainable – we are complex beings, and so in being complex are constantly looking to have that complexity fulfilled, challenged and fed. Therefore, when the surface level things (and believe me they are far harder to identify than one would think) begin to fade, an emptiness will follow. Don’t believe that you are too picky in this judgement either; do what is best for you and for the person you are thinking about being with. There is no value in committing into something where you cannot receive the true worth from it.
I am not saying that you should not be open to change; if we were not open to change then there is no possible way to grow and achieve and better ourselves in the long run. But, there are some things which we should undoubtedly stick to in our beliefs. These are things that make up our moral fabric and define the essence of who we are. It is these things that are ingrained in our own personal belief system which should not be compromised. It can be difficult to judge whether or not something can be changed or not, and it does not mean you shouldn’t open yourself to whatever change the other person is attempting point out to you. It is important to know the difference. If we can find the balance between sticking to our own moral code and allowing that important person to change the things about us which could be bettered, then we have found ourselves in a relationship with a partner who understands who we are, but also seeks to improve the things which detract from that.
In your life time, there are going to be different things that take preference at different times; when you have children, they will be your focus for an incredibly long time; when you start a new job, this will be your focus for some time. It always seems that your romantic relationship takes a back seat to all of these things as life moves on. There is always something else that demands more attention and more focus, and therefore takes priority. At some point, you need to sit down and realize what priority your relationship takes. In the world that we live in today, many people will be faced with the dilemma of choosing between a job or a relationship (whether the job is abroad or too time consuming), people today will tell you to take the job, of course, you can find love anywhere. If this is your perspective, then it would be naive to think that the relationship aspect of your life will fall into place as you work on everything else. It, too, requires love, attention and nurturing. Individuals need to realize the importance and focus that a relationship requires. It is only once this has been realized that one can find a balance in life.
As I said before, I have no way of telling you how to operate in your own relationships… I guess it is just most important that we are constantly thinking about these things and looking to create the most beautiful and peaceful lives for ourselves — whatever that means.