The ability to “see clearly” in a relationship is frequently described as impossible. If a girlfriend is deep in the throes with a shitty ex, a common explanation for her irrational behavior is that she is too close to the situation and is not “seeing clearly." She can't be objective when she's emotionally invested.
When you are long over a relationship that was vile and toxic, you describe why you stayed in it for so long as, “I couldn't see it,” or “I didn't want to see it."
Why do we believe it's only when we put a relationship to bed that we can actually see the holes and cracks in its foundation? Is it possible to be so involved with someone and a relationship that you cannot actually see reality for what it is, even if it is painstakingly terrible?
Personally, I fall victim to the epidemic of blurred vision when it comes to my romantic life. While this paralyzing emotional problem completely sucks and keeps you trapped in the quicksand of what is likely an unhealthy relationship or situation, I can vouch for any poor, blinded soul out there. With absolute certainty, I can say that while your vision is “impaired," it is impossible to see the hard truths of a relationship.
Vision is arguably the most valuable of the five senses with which we are gifted. Sure, you still have your hearing, but how effective is this sense without the clarity of vision? Anyone can tell you your ex is bad news, or that you need to stop having casual sex when it's all but casual to you.
But until you “see it” on your own, it's hard to put your trust in other people's words. They might go so far as to scream at you or to swear off your friendship altogether, but with blurred vision, it is easy to ignore their words of guidance.
After all, they don't see what you see. Your perception becomes your reality.
So, if you have lost your vision and you ignore your sense of hearing, what is left? Touch.
Touch is your worst enemy in this situation. Touch — even the absence of touch — is persuasive, intimate. It will literally pull at your heartstrings. A emotionally charged kiss, a comforting back rub, a hug that is so deep it gives you goosebumps are all things that not only further cloud your impaired sight, but also help to drown out the cries of rescue that are undoubtedly streaming in.
Smell is known to be the most accurate trigger of memories. When you are navigating through an emotional labyrinth with seemingly no way out, smell has the potential to push you further off your exit route.
Have you ever not even realized you missed someone until the stranger in the checkout line was wearing the same cologne? Have you lied in your lovers arms, just basking in their scent and hoping to always smell it?
Smell is intoxicating. With the smells of your relationship, you find yourself ignorantly running toward the catalyst of your impaired vision.
The last sense you cannot rely on once your vision is gone due to an emotional situation is taste. Taste is tricky because whether it's the current taste of his kiss or the longing to get that taste again, your mouth literally waters up thinking about it. Your sense of taste tends to crave the one thing you need the least, even if it's while you're tasting the salt from your tears.
It's no myth that when you are deeply involved in an emotional situation, you cannot see clearly. The little known fact is that without your sight, all of your other senses become compromised while trying to navigate the messy world of love and emotions. They become twisted and torn to the point where they're not reliable.
Relationships are complex, and while hindsight is 20/20, the least we can do is try to learn some lessons before we reach the hindsight phase. All we can do in our next relationships is hope to keep our vision clear. And if that goes awry, we hope to at least learn to rely on our four other senses when our eyes blur yet again.