Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Compromising Positions

Last night as we walked home from a very late meeting for the publication, two friends (both NBSB, I think) asked me: is it great being in a relationship? I stopped walking for a bit, and thought carefully of my answer. The glow of the streetlights and the noise of the vehicles on the street seemed to soften a little bit.

"To start with, I think majority of us have a misconception of what love really is between two people."

This put their mouths agape, forming a big "O".

It was true- or at least for me. My model of "true love" was the bond between my parents. As the eldest son, I can say I've really seen them at their best and worst, since the time I was little, until my siblings and I grew up. When I was about four or five, they were the picture of two people completely in love- yes, the kind you see in movies: affectionate, giddy, and completely head-over-heels.

Happily ever afters however, almost never happens in real life. Instead, people deal with the realities of raising their children, paying the mortgage, sending kids to school, working on their retirements... Love's mettle is tested with hardships and adversities and sometimes, it does not endure.

During the time my parent's marriage troubles started- jealousy, money problems, parenting issues- I was worried if their bond would survive considering that they would be migrating to the States, on their own and away from the rest of our relatives. The harsh environment and their distance from us took its toll, and the differences in their personalities caused a rift that was becoming more apparent.

My father is the pragmatic type of person who values practicality more than anything else, my mother, the romanticist, constantly opposed his decisions with reasons that he found unacceptable. The power struggle finally ended with their separation.

I cried a river over this, because for me it was proof that sometimes mere affections or romantic feelings may not be enough to sustain a relationship. That even after 27 years of marriage and three kids, a couple could still give up on their love.

So I brought them back to my point: "A relationship requires more than that weak-in-the-knees feeling for that other person, because after sometime that frizzles away."

I'm an amateur when it comes to love, and for the first time, I am in a relationship that lasted more than a year and requires a whole lot of work to constantly adjust and compromise with what he wants out of the relationship and what I want out of it. To quote a line from the TV show Ally McBeal, "...perhaps because love is about learning to compromise, that's why we find ourselves in compromising positions." But as long as we keep striving, even if it proves difficult to make changes for one another, the relationship will endure.

Learning to give and yield, finding someone who can stand you and your quirks, but also having someone to hold your hand at the funeral of a loved one or someone you can tell your troubles to, even when he says "I told you so"- I say yes, it's hard work and it's no fairy tale, but it is great to be in a relationship.


Tonskie said...

it is "not" great if you are already hurting.

Knox Galen said...

Tonskie: It's easy to let go and it tells a lot about your character.

Thad: Thanks for the insight. I sincerely hope yours will endure a lifetime.

Phoenix said...

@ Tonskie: I like to think that sometimes pain is part of the experience of being in a relationship, which when handled well can allow both of you to grow. Hope you have a fine day ahead, Tonskie! :-)

@ Knox Galen: Thanks so much! I certainly hope you are right ;-) By the way I linked your blog.


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