Fairy tales and myths haven’t gone too deep into the matter of ” romantic relationships”. Have they? The happy endings end at a “wedding scene” without giving us much idea of what happens throughout their lives. How do couples deal with conflict at home?! differences of tastes in food, music or their preferences over people that they choose to socialize with ?! And in fact, much more.
We grow up with an idea that one day we will meet someone who will save us from all of our insecurities. And that “one person” will satisfy every single need of ours and shares an interest with us in everything and anything that we find interesting. This sounds more like a myth than anything else. The idea of an ideal partner who is supposed to be this perfect being whose all desires and interests are aligned with ours is, in fact, one of the sources of suffering in relationships.
When we look at life as a whole, we see that our experience of life is not and will not be limited to a romantic relationship only. We, as humans, want to experience life in all of its dimensions, in all of its glory. In other words, in our lifetime we gain experience in many areas such as sports, arts, education, music, philosophy and etc. We certainly, will try various hobbies, go to different places and taste life in many different social settings. Do we need to have a partner who follows us in every single one of these occasions?! Well, although it’s truly joyful to share many interests in life with our partner, but it can be equally joyful and exciting to perhaps have different interests also. Our lives as humans have many layers. We are complicated beings, and we certainly have different needs and interests. As a result, to expect a partner to share the same interests with us in all these areas sounds completely bizarre.
We want to mature and evolve in our careers, social lives, art, family lives, spiritually and more. No one partner can perfectly walk alongside us in all these areas. Moreover, a romantic relationship is not the only need for a human being. We like to explore life in all that it has to offer. Now considering this, how difficult and nearly impossible can it get to find a partner that has the exact same interest in all areas of life as ours?!
So If you rely on your partner to find the “ultimate source of happiness” in them, you are in big trouble. You won’t find a partner that will basically satisfy all your needs on all levels. And you also won’t find a partner that shares the exact same interests with you in every possible area. And this is completely fine. In life, there are many gaps that can only be filled by us, individually, without relying on any relationships and there are many paths that must be taken by us alone, as an individual.
Couples can share interests and at the same time have a series of other interests that are not shared between both parties, and this is completely fine. We can easily give room to our partner to go to a football match on their own if that’s what they want. We must take that painting class on our own and socialize with that group of friends that our partner doesn’t necessarily enjoy spending time with. We and our partner are separate individuals with equal rights to have different interests in life and this by no means defines us as a “bad couple”.
It’s perhaps for this same reason that Kahlil Gibran said;
“But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
Our sense of self should not get lost in a relationship. And our interests in life don’t have to be victimized by our partnerships. Once we know it is completely normal to have different interests in relationships, we can open a dialogue with our partners on this matter. Here we would like to refer to one of Eric From’s famous quotes;” In love, the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two. “
We may allow some space to one another to grow in different areas of life peacefully and co-operatively and of course at times separately. This will allow us to find happiness in multiple aspects of life and not only in a partner.
Moreover, this will provide our partner with a sense of freedom that enables them to be who they really are without feeling the pressure of being our ultimate source of happiness. Our partners whoever they are, are also on an evolutionary path in life. They have imperfections and flaws. They also need space to grow. We shall not mistake them with Gods or Goddesses whose whole responsibilities are to provide us happiness in all areas of life.
We need to drop the outdated idea that a perfect couple should do everything together, all the time. We may let ourselves and our partners experience existence fully, we shouldn’t create a chain out of love but let love be a safe space where both of us can flourish freely.
Brought to you by Bright Shift