The Harder You Hold On To Someone, The More Likely That Person Is To Let You Go
I have trouble understanding relationships – not so much the concept of them, but how any relationship ever works out. Choosing to be a part of a relationship is asking for trouble.
People are individuals and were designed to remain individuals. We were never meant to join with another person and take on a separate entity.
How do I know this? Because it’s impossible for you to ever be anything but yourself – no matter what relationship you’re in, no matter what clubs you join, no matter how badly you wish you could fuse with another person, you will always be you, and you alone.
There, of course, are many different sorts of relationships. There are relationships between family members. There are relationships between friends and acquaintances. Then there are countless other relationships that happen in passing when you interact with complete strangers.
The more shallow the relationship, the easier it is to maintain. Nodding to a coworker in the hallway – whose name you never bothered to remember – is much easier than keeping up the relationships between you and your friends.
The more space a person takes up in your life, the more difficult that relationship becomes to maintain. So what happens when two people try to fuse on the highest of levels – mentally, physically and spiritually? Romantic relationships happen. Well… most of them try to happen, but not all of them manage to survive.
I’ll let you all in on a little secret: Romantic relationships are doomed to fail from the start because your concept of "romantic relationships" is flawed.
More than that, your concept is impossible. The fact that you believe that when it comes to love, anything is possible, just proves how naïve you really are.
Not everything is possible. It was designed that way on purpose so that we’d learn to appreciate life the way it was meant to be appreciated – limitations and all.
You live one life – an egocentric life in which you are forced to see the world through one perspective, out of one single window – and have to accept that that life has its limitations.
Not everything is possible. Not everything is doable. Not everything that even can be, will be. This is the world you live in and you’d be better off accepting this sooner than later.
Understanding these natural limitations allows us to better prosper. Without knowing these limitations, we’re playing a game without understanding the rules. So we’re bound to lose.
Understanding the limitations of relationships, and romantic relationships especially, will allow you to create the best possible relationship. Emphasis on the word "possible."
Humans are egocentric beings – we experience reality through our own senses and consider ourselves to be the most important.
This isn’t to say that it isn’t possible to put others ahead of yourself, but it does mean that doing so doesn’t come naturally; it isn’t a natural reaction, but rather a decision we actively make.
For the most part, people are meant to put themselves first and foremost. This means that, for the majority of our lives, we are alone. Luckily, we like it that way.
We like it that way until we enter into a romantic relationship. At that point, we try to do the impossible and become one with our partners. Of course, we fail.
Because we fail at that, we begin to question the strength or legitimacy of the relationship. We begin to question if what we are feeling is truly love. We set an impossible definition for love and then get angry when we don’t manage to pull it off. We’re idiots.
Each individual has a different personality from the next. Some people enjoy more time alone while others enjoy more time socializing. Neither way is right nor wrong – but one thing that doesn’t change is the egocentricity of human beings.
We all want to be alone from time to time, yet we never really want to be alone for good. It’s this paradox that makes love as beautiful and difficult as it is. We want what we don’t want and don’t want what we want. Which is why I can't help but be amazed when I see relationships that work.
But working relationships -- the type that really work -- all share something in common: The two people involved are rarely -- if ever -- possessive of the other. They understand the need to live freely and to belong to themselves first while also belonging to each other.
They've given up on the popularized definition of romantic love and have created a three-dimensional relationship that focuses on ideas and beliefs rather than emotions alone.
Some would consider these games and believe that they shouldn’t be played… I disagree. Once you stop playing games, life stops being interesting. The same should be said for relationships.
Photo Courtesy: Kate Elizabeth Photography