Love & Longing


Another one bites the dust.. is the first thought that crossed my mind, when I witnessed yet another relationship disintegrate. And what a fairy tale one at that! Boy meets girl, sparks fly, whirlwind romance, long conversations, can’t keep hands off each other, beautiful wedding, exotic honeymoon and then life begins.

I remember the conversations I had with this love struck ‘to be married’ friend of mine. ‘He is everything I have always dreamt of’ she gushed. Intrigued, I asked her what in the world did she mean by that.

‘’He makes me feel so complete. He is everything that I am not.” She said with a dreamy look in her eyes. “In which way?” pat came my question.
“Hmmm..He is strong, ambitious, confident and speaks his mind so clearly. He is so at ease with people. I love that about him. It is almost as if my life has expanded after I have met him. He is so full of energy, there not a dull moment with him’’
I reflected on what she said and realised it was true. My otherwise soft, docile, sensitive friend, who has always been extremely selective about whom she befriended or went out with, did seem more vibrant and full of life.

Four years later, this very friend of mine cannot stand the sight of the man she once fell so head over heels in love with. . “He is so stubborn & aggressive. He has to get his bloody way at everything. He is an insensitive, selfish and arrogant bastard. I just can’t stand being with him anymore” What a volatile switch of a fairytale romance into a nightmare

What is this malaise that seems to have eaten away into the very fabric of many relationships, I wondered. When I looked around, I saw the evidence of basic psychology in action.
The fact is we tend to get most attracted to people who are quite different from us.

The potent attraction is a result of the other person becoming a mirror, in which we see ourselves whole and complete. Suddenly the missing parts of our personality come alive in the other person and what a glorious and heady feeling that is! Especially after having struggled to achieve our sense of individuality, which is not necessarily an easy ride.

This ‘love’ gives us the freedom to express, experience and be the things we never thought we were capable of. It enlarges the canvas of our being, which was up until now restricted.
Yet, how do these very differences that ignite passion and attraction, become the very source of pain, anger and discontent? At what point does the perception of ‘strong, ambitious and confident’ turn into ‘stubborn, aggressive and arrogant’ for the very same person?

The irony is that while we tend to get to get most attracted to people who are quite different from us, we prefer to live with those who are like us!
Once the initial hormonal high withers, the difficult moment of truth dawns, when the wrenching thought invades your consciousness ‘this is not the person I thought I had married’. The disappointment can be acute. Once what seemed attractive, those very small mannerisms get on your nerves.

What does one do when the initial attraction sours? I call it the FIRST DAY of your real relationship!
It may not be a sign that you’ve chosen the wrong partner. It is the signal to grow as an individual—to take responsibility for your own frustrations. Invariably, we yearn for our partner to understand us and respond in ways that make us feel safe and comfortable.

It takes a dose of courage to see that, till we don’t challenge our need to make people think and behave like us, everyone will seem like the wrong partner.

Today, would you be willing to stop trying to judge, label and ‘fix’ people? Would you be willing to accept that people are different and they are meant to be different?
Would you be willing to choose happiness over perfection?