Written on the wind

30 Nov

Nothing stays the same. Life is full of change and evolution. Existing as it does on a planet in perpetual motion in the middle of a always active universe, this should be of little surprise.

Nowhere is this truer than in the minefield that is relationships.

While most can accept the development of a relationship from those tentative first steps – exploratory conversations, dates and kisses – through to intense partnerships, marriage, family etc., few seem prepared for the journey in the other direction. In order to find your prince or princess, one must be prepared to kiss a few frogs. Or so I’m told – clearly I haven’t kissed enough anything judging by my current status.

Most relationships follow a mountainous curve of development, exponentially increasing in excitement and commitment as you discover each other, the things that make you tick, likes and interests. Even the most sedate of couples will find themselves becoming more and more physical until they cannot think of themselves without the other – the sort of sickening sods who are always cuddling and kissing any time you’re out in public together (yeah, we get it, you’re a couple…). But there is an apex from which the descent can be rapid, as relationships grow exhausted, patiences are tried, and the desire for something different consumes absolutely.

It may be a cliché, but it is also a simple fact that relationships need work if they are to attain longevity. Ups and downs are par for the course. And there is no shame in admitting that your particular relationship simply doesn’t work, and its time to get out.

I’ve seen too many desperately unhappy couples conjoined in a self-destructing domesticity of spite. They can’t stand the sight of each other, the bad days outnumber the good, and the only reason they’re still in the same room is because of a joint debt, children or marriage. There seems to be this weird expectation that because once upon a time promises were made based on a particular set of circumstances that they should be tied to these for ever. Perhaps in that moment while you soixante-neufed they meant it when they said they loved you, but now they see how messy you are in the bathroom and realise it will never change, its time to let you go.

People change. Sort of.

As we get older we often find we want different things, and our lives start to pull in different directions. The desire for a family can compete with the need for a better career. Elderly ailing parents can drag you away from much needed couple-time. The stories you spun as you tried to woo the object of your affection into your bed can finally catch up on you and become impossible to sustain. We put our best faces on in the early days and gradually reveal ourselves – and the people we really are often differ wildly from the one we projected.

So if you find yourself one day on your sofa coming to the conclusion that the person you’ve promised to spend the rest of your life/foreseeable future with  is in fact not someone you really want to be with, then why stay?

I understand the ideology and religious considerations that might prey on an individual’s conscience, but nobody should be unhappy if they can help it. Squabbling couples are not going to be of much use to the children that they stay together for (kids see and hear far more than people give them credit for). Those missed encounters with friends, family, and employment are going to grate on you as time goes on, only to be thrust back into every future argument.

A bad relationship does not mean that every future relationship is going to similarly suffer. That is unless there are other unresolved problems in evidence. And if there’s a pattern to your breakups, perhaps one needs to become more introspective instead of blaming the other party in the relationship every time?

Life evolves to meet given situations. Relationships must do similarly. And if we are to succeed at all and find happiness in our private lives, we need to know when something isn’t working, and either change it or recognise it as something that simply will not work and cut it loose. You can have bad relationships, but bad relationships are not failed relationships, they are simply bad ones. And through the bad ones, we recognise the good.



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