Sunday, July 21, 2013

Air or water?

So I'm back online, dating again, because I just love it so much, and it makes such great fodder for entries. (Really it's not so bad, or else I wouldn't do it, but there is an awful lot of crap to wade through to get to the good ones.) One of the sites I'm on has a personality questionnaire that I've filled out while restarting/revamping a profile more times then I'd like to admit. I kind of wonder if I even answer the questions the way. Some of the questions I breeze through, and some I think about, and some annoy me every single time I see them. One of the latter is "Which is more important in a relationship, dedication or passion?"

Makes me want to bang my head against the keyboard. I can see why they ask this question- it's polarizing and seems like the two answers should be divided into those looking for a fling vs those looking for a long-term relationship (a relationship is a series of interactions between two people. I wish that males would stop equating that word with being married/miserably chained to a wall and tortured daily). I whole-heartedly disagree, however. I've been in relationships that have lacked in one or the other of these qualities and both ends of the spectrum suck. Let me tell you why.

A long-term relationship is a social agreement between two people. It's not going to work unless both people want to be in the relationship, because in a world with six billion people and virtually constant access to global communications, it's a totally non-random result that two people spend time together. Do you sense sarcasm? It's still true though. All of this nonsense about finding "The One" has been pumped into our brains by Disney movies and rom-coms. Which we believe because......? .....Hollywood has so many exemplary relationships? I enjoy good ol' Disney movies, and even some rom-coms, but believing the have any truth in them is like believing in a video game. Unfortunately in the current universe there are people who DO learn violence from video games and/or live mostly only within virtual settings and the same thing goes for these movies. A romantic relationship takes work, and agreement, and time. The reward, if the two people are compatible, is mutual enjoyment of each other's company, love, etc etc. People who come from cultures with arranged marriages stay together more often because there is more social pressure to agree to be in the marriage and dedicate time and energy to it. People who are looking for things to be "perfect" and "magical" end up disappointed because every human being is unique and we shouldn't expect our partner to compliment us in every way. Instead we need to accept our differences and disagreements and compromise... which builds upon the relationship in that it'something you've both contributed to.

Passion, on the other hand, keeps people excited about each other. A romantic relationship without passion is boring. Generally passion is assumed to be related to the physical, but it can also be emotional. Passion is one of the motivators for two people to stay together. It celebrates the relationship and is a reward for staying together. When two people are both dedicated to each other, I think it can increase the passion in the relationship. But of there isn't dedication, then passion wanes. Passion is also exhausting. It requires a lot of energy (both kinds- emotional and physical) and everyone needs a break once in a while. But if a pair is dedicated to the relationship, the passion can take a little dip and things will be ok.

What I'm proposing is that people get together and are maybe wooed or initially interested because of some kind of mutual passion. But they only become a couple together because of dedication- as I said, six billion people, yadah yadah, there are plenty of different people to experience passion with. And then when the couple starts to feel stressed or doubtful and the dedication is in question, the passion between them reminds them of what they share, how each is special in unique, and how far they've come from just being two random people experiencing a passionate interaction.

That's my theory of a healthy relationship. I'm not sure if it really exists, and if it does, there are everyday challenges and pitfalls to overcome. But I'm still willing to bet that I can make this work with someone, somewhere out there.

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