I hear “happy” couples say that a good relationship takes “a lot of work.” WTF does that even mean? I don’t believe that a good relationship should “take a lot of work.” That’s just dumb. It implies that they aren’t compatible and never were.
IMHO (and take this with a cup of salt, considering my record) if two people are truly compatible and love and respect each other, there shouldn’t be anything other than trivial disagreements to deal with and we all have those with pretty much every person we come into extended contact with all our lives.
I hear things like, “he always does xyz and he knows I hate it!”
I ask, “did he always do xyz?”
“Well…yes…but I thought he’d stop for me!”
Or, “she’s so hung up on abc and refuses to change her mind to my point of view!”
“Uh…did she always feel strongly about abc?”
“Yes! But she’s wrong and she’s just being immature and bull-headed about changing her mind!”
Right. So s/he did or felt strongly about something From.The.Beginning. and you’re just now catching on? WTF were you thinking?
It’s the stupidest thing about relationships: thinking that you have the right to change someone else. They are how they are. You either love them and deal with the little things you don’t particularly like, or you call it off before it goes beyond dating. That’s what dating is for, for the love of all that’s holy!
I guess that’s what “settling” is all about, but why live the rest of your life in misery when there’s someone out there who will love you for your comic book/cat/yarn/old DVD collection? Someone who loves it when you laugh so hard you snort? Someone who plays mandolin to your banjo? Someone who understands your baggage – they don’t have to agree to do anything but be sympathetic and not stomp up and down on your Hot Buttons just to fuck with you. I really don’t think it’s too much to ask for. Anything else is just frosting on the cake.
People seem to expect that their new mate will just quietly conform to whatever preconceived notions they have (spoken or not) as soon as the ink is dry on the marriage certificate and that’s where the problems start.
I have to ask – why bother? If you’re not compatible, it’s never going to work and you’re setting yourself up for a lot of pain.
Oh, wait! We get into bad relationships for a variety of reasons and we stay for an even wider variety of reasons, one of which I would like to address right now: outside pressure. Whether from family (“when am I going to have some grandbabies?” “Your sister/brother/cousin has been married for ages and now it’s your turn!” “You don’t want to die an Old Maid, do you?”) friends (“we’re all paired off now and you just don’t fit in with us any more”) or some other group that makes it their business to dictate how you will live your life, they all suck.
“We just want you to be happy!” they exclaim.
“But I don’t want to be married,” you declare. Or, “I’m just not ready to settle down yet.”
Not.Good.Enough. for them. Sigh. Where was I going with this?
Ah! Stop! Just stop telling single people that they will never be happy until they are paired off! It’s not necessarily true and it’s not even any of your business, so butt out! There is nothing wrong with being single. Not a damned thing. Really. The world won’t end because some people choose not to share their life with another person. It doesn’t concern you. Move on. Mind your own business. Stop preaching that happiness comes only to couples.
Let me live my pathetic, empty, lonely life without your commentary and I will refrain from telling you how I do exactly what I want to do every single day. I won’t mention that I ate the last of the ice cream and didn’t have to worry about someone else getting upset about it. Or how I sleep diagonally on the bed every night and I hog all of the pillows and blankets because they are Mine, All Mine! Or that I go where I want, do what I want, watch what I want, read what I want and make all of the decisions in my life (big and small) with no input from anyone else. Every single thing is just the way I like it and there’s no one to complain about any part of it. My life is pretty much perfect, but I won’t disabuse you of your notions.
Unless you’d like to make a break for freedom, too… 🙂