Friday, May 28, 2010
The Thing about Relationships is...
More and more my relationship and those around me are reminding me of tug-of-wars. Relationships to me, in an idealistic world, seem to be about making compromises. It would seem that it's the only logical explanation to get along. If both parties have strong ideas and beliefs and aren't ever willing to budge, how do we ever end a cold war?
Which got me to wondering... Maybe opposites really do attract! Taking on the idea that everybody has a 'personality type' ( see http://www.personalitypage.com/relationships.html) Different personality types hold different values, for example
The Idealist: They have a very deep capacity for love and caring above any other personality type (which is normally the issue in most men- this hurdle has been cleared! Hallelujah)!. They usually adapt easily, unless one of their ruling principles has been violated, in which case they stop adapting and become staunch defenders of their values. They will be uncharacteristically harsh and rigid in such a situation. Hint: you do not want to fight with this one.
Adam (the Idealist) says to Eve (also an Idealist): 'I want you to stay home while I hunt and that is not negotiable'
Eve: 'Those vegetables aren't going to plant themselves Adam, I need and want to go out.'
Adam thinks: I'll make her see
Eve thinks: He's not getting laid till he agrees with me
Both parties are at a stand still, and neither will budge, wanting to grab each other's shoulders and shake one another until they make a My-Way-or-the-Highway smoothie. So they're up Serpent creek without a paddle, while Adam sulks under the Tree of Knowledge (not that it helps), and Eve waits at the bottom of the hill ready to pounce and plead her case one more time.
In my experience, the only way a couple get out of this mess, whether it's a big issue or a 'you didn't wash my leaf briefs' squabble, is if both respect each other and want each other enough that it just doesn't matter. Personalities aside, it all comes down to fighting fair.
No matter what the issue is, there is always a reason or insecurity behind it that they just don't want you to see. It takes patience and honesty to work through it- even though your first reaction is "what a bloody tosser, what's the big deal!!!"
Around me, I see friends whose partners know they are weak, and play on their insecurities like salt on an open wound. The girls that tell tales and manipulate, and the men that don't call. Why? Because they can!
My advise to those people is always "She / He did this awful thing to you, and wants you to get over it. I know you don't want to lose them, but think about this for a second...
Do you think that 5 years from now you will be married or be with this person if they're capable of doing this to you?"
If the answer is no, maybe there isn't anything worth fighting for.
How to avoid it
It's all about balance. One needs to know their worth, and maintain a good self esteem no matter who they are with- that way no one can ever shake it or threaten it.
At the same time, couples have to be able to talk things out assertively, and discuss how they are feeling and why. If this isn't happening, then one of you isn't caring at all. I guarantee it's not the person caring enough to read this!