lage raho…

As I read through Sakshi‘s post on how changing yourself is not that bad if you are really doing it for someone you love, I got the feel that she’s right, but there’s something completely off. It’s one of those things that sounds sensible and yet is making huge assumptions. Yeah, you need to change, but being a spoon, or at least without thinking about the implications, might not be the right thing to do. Here’s what I was thinking while reading through the piece –

Do you get angry with an eye on the solution, are your fights directed to a solution?

It’s nice to have your eye on a solution. But, as so many damn situations have it, not all problems have a solution. The two views on some issues are just two parallel tracks of the railway line. Say, you love having pets and she just can’t stand them. Neither can you stop loving someone you care for nor can she be asked to fall in love with non-humans. (Obviously, this problem is specific to couples living together. But I’m willing to bet each couple encounters a solutionless problem at some point or the other – ofcourse guys, there’s difference between ‘awareness of facts’ and ‘pessimism’ – this is the former.)

you’re not any less of yourself if all you want out of life is to keep someone else happy

That’s the sweetest thought in a relationship, but its impractical and thus in an unsustainable state. How many people out there can really say, “this is all I want out of life”. The “this” could be anything, “this” promotion, “this” project, “this” child getting 99% marks, “this” child becoming the best dancer, etc, etc, etc. There is no permanence. Our needs keep changing, escalating even, whether materialistic or otherwise.

AND, with very change that is not there for the next 3-4 decades you are becoming less of yourself…

So, what do you do?

Quit? Never!

Be at each other’s throats for ever and ever? Like that got us anywhere but farther away from each other.

What we could try is –

Spot the differences.

Recognize them; certainly don’t turn a blind eye to them.

Accept them – Don’t yell at each other, sleep over it, mull, and then discuss it. The discussion will have to involve prioritizing the issue at hand in line with all other issues in life. This is possible – slowly you change from shouting instantaneously to waiting a couple minutes, to a couple hours, and so on. Believe me you still might not have a solution, but it gives you a better chance of accepting the difference. By accepting, I mean coming to terms with the difference. Like I have my view, she has hers and that’s how it’s going to be.

The solution ultimately is to get a pet or not. There is no third option. Either choice involves adjustment/change/sacrifice by one. One person has to change their priority and the other person has to acknowledge it. Not acknowledging is taking it for granted – another thing you shouldn’t be doing *all* the time. The two still can’t come to a resolution, then what? I really don’t know…

If that issue is *so* close to your heart, it would have done good if you’d known it before you got in so deep into the relationship. But now that you have, what? I don’t know…

Maybe it is to accept at first that there will be non-optimal solutions or solution-less problems. We can take solace that this situation is not unique to us. But by acknowledging this fact we are giving the much required room…and that’s what both of us need after the “I love you so much that I can…” phase is over…

Once issue resolved/acknowledge, bow a welcome to the next, and then the next…basically…lage raho
* * *

More things I had problems with digesting –

Relationship has got less to do with the people in it, and more to do with their attitude in general

The attitude is the people. Our attitude is the basic-basic part of who we are.

All we needed to do was dip our heads in a basin of cold water, rearrange the way a few nerves are placed, and bring about a fundamental change to our thinking.

Can you really take the red wire off and plug it in the green socket and the green wire in the blue socket? Even if you can, you’ll be using a lot of duct tape to keep it in the new places which ultimately might wear off with time.

So, maybe you can rearrange the way the nerves are placed, then comes the real question. Can you guarantee that it will stay that way for ever and ever?

There is no ‘all we needed to do’. It’s always one thing followed by the other. And just being prepared for that is a good start.

simply by making a choice keeping in mind your partner, you’re not changing yourself

Acting with your partner’s choice in mind is doing something differently from the way you would have done it if the partner was not around. And this doesn’t happen once or twice, you keep the partner’s choice in mind constantly, and do things differently constantly. Sometimes these are little things, sometimes not so little…and then 2-3 years later you wake up from the “aware but yet blind-in-love” state to “oh $%&*, where did “I” go?” So, in effect you ended up changing yourself.

If one is happy with that, “great! Nothing like it!” But, my guess is that any independent, opinionated, well-exposed person is not going to be. Better blow the bubble the right size instead of having it burst in your face later.

That waking up next to the person you love is truly the one thing you should have throughout your life
That saying you’re sorry every now and then will help you get that

Saying you’re sorry, is not a thing that should be thought of, or done because you like waking up with this person tomorrow…it has to happen naturally because you feel sorry for what “you” have done wrong.

* * *

Does this mean you think, think, think and just quit enjoying?! Geez no! Relationships too can use a balance of ‘work’ and ‘play’…

  1. That’s the difference between wishful thinking and somebody going through the grind. The maturity and wisdom in your thinking has a solid backing of years of experience. That’s why it makes a wonderful reading.

    Keep it up, Meetu!

  2. maybe the one who likes pets should try getting involved in NGOs for unloved strays or offer to pet sit for friends with pets? that’s a start…
    i see how you are trying to bring in the ‘realism’ aspect into the business of relationships, but i think Sakshi was essentially pointing to brasstacks and saying, ‘look, it’s just that!’ In other words, the power to make or break things in a relationship, lies with us, in equal measure… and that just because one chooses to exercise that power doesn’t render him/her vulnerable, liable to labelled any lesser than his/her partner.

  3. I could not have agreed with you more on this…
    although I have to say, after reading Saakshi’s post first, I did go, “aaawww, sweet”… and then I read this post, and it just sounded a lot more “practical”, something that happens everyday.
    like you said, it’s not necessary to “change” as long as you can comfortably “accomodate” your significant other’s choices/opinions/preferences, etc. into your personality. (but a pre-requisite for that would have to be you having a strong sense of individuality).

    in a relationship, you are not meant to make someone else happy; you want to be happy *with* that someone else.

    i have a theory, as long as two “individuals” are always on assertive track they will be headed towards a solution, any one/both of them get aggressive or submissive, the solution-seeking goes for a toss and a discussion becomes an argument and then it makes it a game of the EGOS!

  4. Thanks, nobody!

    moallif, got that! But, it’s no small deal to change so the people who don’t want to change are in their own way justified in making a big deal about it. (Who are we to judge how trivial or otherwise the ‘change’ is?)

    Solitary Dreamer, good point their about assertive/aggressive/submissive and well put too. I think if a person is submissive deep down, he/she has it easy. Of course, no person is submissive come what may, so it does become not-so-easy sooner or later…

    I wonder what other kinds of people are there. Neutral? who are neither very aggressive nor very submissive? Is there a ‘rational’ variety out there too? 🙂 Ok, i digress…

  5. I dont think change ever works. I think people should try and amalgamate and work around or with each other’s quirks. It’s not so black and white where it’s my way or the highway. You dont do this with your friends, you dont expect them to change, so why do it with your near and dear ones.

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