One of my previous postings (Seattle Love Cycle – Hormonally Yours) generated a slew of emails and feedbacks. I asked myself: why don’t I receive such feedback on other postings? … The messages included both agreements and disagreements and there was one central theme asking/telling me about the solution. I don’t write about love and relationship. If I do, there should be a veiled dark humor somewhere in it in addition to the fact that my past track-record proves my inability of fully understanding relationships. All that being said, arbitrary observations and common sense suggest a few common themes in lasting relationships:
> Repeated Experience – A long or lasting relationship is mostly a repeated experience after the first few years. There won’t be much up and down as it relates to emotional or basic human needs. Occasional boredom is a part of any long experience whether it is our career, family, or other forms of continual association. Some people take this repeated-experience as a negative sign and try to challenge it by doing "exciting things" that might stress out the relationship. Excitement is not the only form of happiness. Peace of mind and consistency are also contributing to happiness. Long and repeated experiences are about peace of mind more than anything else.
> Selflessness – The essence of love is self-giving, the surrender of one. This is something different from and more than attraction. These are all the ways by which one person goes out towards another. To give oneself to another is something more than merely desiring what is good for another. It’s about this another becomes "I" as it were my own. Then the question arises whether any person can give himself or herself to another because everyone is always, of one’s very nature, protective. Self surrender as a form of love is the result of a process within the person, and presupposes a mature vision of values, and a will ready and able to commit itself in this particular way.
> Responsibility – Phrases like "You only live once", "This is about you so do your best to be happy", "you didn’t fail, the relationship ended" … expose the idea to make it all about "You" without placing any responsibility on "You". These expressions are just too simplistic, on-dimensional, and naive means to comfort you – temporarily I must add! I find these pseudo-advisers to be narcissistically self-involved. Where is the sense of accountability in this logic? Responsibility in a relationship is simply the affirmation of another person’s value and well-being in the most careful way. There is no fine line between responsibility and selflessness. This is one of those thick gray lines … and the only way to know where this line resides, is to cross it!
… … This line is about understanding that responsibility, the most selfless of all obsessions, is only another name for love.
(to my charming parents, the most selfless-beings of all)