Today’s society is full of unconventional, unorthodox mumbo jumbo. Yeah I’m talking about relationships. They aren’t what they used to be. You meet someone. You’re friends. You date. You fall in love. You get engaged. You get married. You live happily ever after. Survey says — WRONG! I don’t mean to sound like a cynic, but how often is there really a happily ever after? In twisted fairytale terms, it’s more like taking the beaten path down the yellow brick road.
So what REALLY happens during the course of a relationship? How does the transition from dating to marriage happen? In my personal opinion, that waiting period between “we’ve been together for 3 years” and “would you PLEASE put a ring on it?” is comparable to purgatory—suspension in a somewhat tolerable hell. For someone like myself, it’s the worst case of internal passive aggressiveness ever known to man. You don’t want to pester the person about getting married, but you also don’t want to let them get too comfortable thinking that it’s not important to you either. Sigh. How did it get this way?
The stagnation comes from many factors:
- A) a lackluster relationship
- B) complacency
- C) unrecognized incompatibility
- D) a simple lack of reciprocity
Sounds pretty hopeless, right? Ok, so here’s comes my version of optimism.
The Lackluster Relationship
You’ve been together for quite some time now and you’re simply bored with one another. Your relationship has turned into a big ball of monotony that’s just rolling downhill. Ol’ Jack and Jill. What you need at this point is some shock treatment. No, seriously. This could translate into spontaneous date nights, going on a mini vacay, creating your own couple’s book club (it’s really not that lame) pillow talk, or better yet, a trip to the naughty store. Even a simple compliment can go a long way. You won’t believe how little things can make such a big difference. Flicker turns into fire very quickly.
Complacency and the “lackluster relationship” have a symbiosis with one another. People get comfortable FIRST before they get downright boring. It’s like, I’m used to you/you’re used to me — you piss me off because you chew with your mouth open/pluck your nose hairs and leave them in the sink, but I don’t feel like getting used to anyone else’s stupid habits. So, thus; you are stuck my friend. Bottom line is, you and your partner are lazy and afraid. Yeah I said it. Somebody is scared that if they make a bigger move, it will fail. Things are great the way they are so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right? Wrong! You’ll find yourself in a common law marriage which isn’t even legal anymore (get my drift?). Either move forward or MOVE ON.
Have you ever been with someone for a while and you find yourself playing the break up game? The love/hate bipolar relationship. Let me start off by first saying that this is NOT by any means normal. It’s dysfunctional, unstable and a waste of time. If you find yourself constantly having to work at “staying” in your relationship or accepting numerous behaviors/traits that you despise, that’s a red flag. It just isn’t meant to be. Some people will not change and you cannot change them either. What you CAN do is engage in some introspective/meditative exercises in which you ask yourself what is really going on. Are the cons outweighing the pros? Am I doing or have I done everything I possibly can to make this work? How long have things been this way with no notable changes? It’s hard to move on from something you want to work so badly, but oil and water just don’t mix. No matter how many times you shake it up, it is bound to separate.
A Lack of Reciprocity
A relationship is all about give and take. The missing piece of that statement is BALANCE. If there is no balance between the two, problems are bound to arise. Not 70/30, 60/40. Y’all know what Teddy P. said—it’s that 50/50 love that we need. A relationship will not survive with somebody sucking the life out of you. If they can’t give what you’re giving, say goodbye…swiftly. Sticking around in a parasitic relationship will create a broken, bitter individual. You don’t want to allow yourself to be ruined for the next person who comes along. Voice how you feel about what’s lacking and demand it. If it does not change, you know what to do. I’ll be the first to say that a mosquito has never given me anything but irritation, but has the nerve to take what’s most valuable to me. Blah!
These Twilight Zone relationships floating around in the fifth dimension — “the place that is everywhere, but nowhere” — need to find some solid direction. Relationships are a work in progress, and progress indicates movement. Hone in on the balance to discover a common pace to travel. Sometimes it means taking a trip down the “road less traveled”, in which you just may be a lone ranger.