Monday, October 18, 2010

Expectations In Relationships

Expectations in relationships. Why do we have them?
Do we really prize stability and the opportunity to stagnate so much?

As my uncle lie in hospital today, a particular point is forcefully brought home into my very thick skull.

Eventually, nothing in the world is sure. There are so many things that might happen that is out of our control.

Feelings, accidents, sickness, death. The future is one seething mass of potential and uncertainty. Anything can happen, and as Murphy's law will have it, shit happens 90% of the time. You just have to hope that the remaining 10% is worth it.

In an effort to preserve a semblance of stability and continuity, we force expectations onto our partners and attempt to fit the future we cannot control into a mould and and manifest it in a contract. Sometimes the contract is tacit, unwritten. Others, we put our names on it, and sign it with ink, as if the act will lend some kind of permanence against the enthropy and chaos of the future.

Don't get me wrong. If marriage is a manifestation of two people's deep and abiding desire and commitment to be together, I think we should celebrate it. As I get older, I find it harder and harder to find this thing called love, and to have two people truly commit the rest of their lives to something like that.

In fact, I think the probability is so small that one can only name such an improbable occurance fate and reinforce the possibility that there is a higher power which gives a shit. For those who have committed to each other, I admire you for doing something I cannot honestly say I can conceive, much less go through.

Then this brings me to the question of just what the hell do I want?

I want someone who is with me because she wants to be with me. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

Someone who talks to me because she enjoys talking to me and likes my company, who can listen and share her opinions without imposing, and I want to do the same for her.

While we care for the other's needs, we also indulge in our own desires.  We fuck, because we want to. Because we are hungry for each other or have needs to fulfill. It is not making love. It is satisfying a need. And we do it with each other because we prefer it. If it's tender and gentle, it is because we feel good doing it that way. If it is rough, hard, and dirty, it is also because that is how we like it.

Someone who accepts me for who I am. All the failings, mistakes and insecurities of the past, the idiosyncrasies of the present and the potential disappointments and celebrations of the future. Someone who is there with me, but does not force fit my path in life to hers, and vice versa.

Perhaps two people can be companions. Choosing to stay together because they want to. Not expecting more, because nobody knows what the future is. The insecurity of a non-traditional relationship without obligation then prevents the stagnation, because unfortunately for humans, it is only when the end is nigh, and obvious, do we really learn to treasure that which we have.

Then so be it. Let us enjoy the now, and never let us take each other for granted, or fit the other into an expectation of obligation. Just want, need, and the preferential satisfaction of being with each other at that instant.

After all, there is no future. There is only the ever present and moving now for us to savour.

Footnote: It was always a little disturbing to me when I was younger that this song does not neither mentions love, nor a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. I am starting to understand that perhaps that which has limited
my understanding is my own boxed perceptions and flawed understanding of relationships.

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