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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Realtionship equality

I was just having a discussion with my flatmate. She inspires me and no wonder-she is a French actress,after all. That what she does for a living-inspiration.
We were talking about relationships and the way we approach them.
She made a good point. She said that a good relationship is like a tennis match: both people have to be involved in the game. If one person keeps serving the ball,running to get it and serving it again and the other is just standing on the other side, leaning on the racket, it will never work. The first person will get exhausted,frustrated and, in the end, will feel empty and used. The other person will feel nothing but boredom.
Sometimes we know the right way to proceed, logically, but years of conditioning,habits entrenched in us by our upbringing and previous relationship patterns prevent us from following it. Instead, we automatically go into the same old routine and then wonder why we get the same old result. We just can't seem to bring ourselves to be different, it seems wrong somehow, the brain does not reconcile.
From the very early age I was taught that I need to be unselfish, generous, thoughtful,considerate of other's feelings. My Mom taught me to always say "Thank you" and write a "Thank you" card/note for the presents given to me and  not to say anything if I don't have anything nice to say. I was taught that kindness and empathy will bring the same in return "tenfold".
I don't regret being brought up that way. What I do wish for fervently is that my Mom also told me about those who just take,take and take, never giving anything back, about those who prey on kind and unselfish.
There are so many of them out there.
I think the balance comes naturally. It is based on experience. Pity,sometimes it takes a while to "arrive", to feel the right balance, to do what's good for your soul, ultimately.
I've only arrived at that point about a month ago. There was no epiphany. It just came over me-the understanding and clear realisation of what it is I want and need (because sometimes what you "want" is not necessarily equals what you "need" or what's "good for you").
For a long time, I was the one "accommodating" the relationship: I took care of things in general and of my partners (financially and emotionally), I made sacrifices, I restructured my life to suit theirs... The pattern kept repeating itself, one relationship after another.
In the end, I felt used, unsatisfied, empty and unloved. And I would sit there and wonder why: I've given all of myself, I've made all that effort...
But that's just the problem, isn't it? I've given too much without waiting for any return from my partners, but, in my mind, I had this idea, that one fine day they'd want to do all these things for me and be there for me when I need their support...
 But why would they? They were never invested in the relationship to start with: I was the one making all the effort. It doesn't mean they were all bad or selfish people (although some of them really were). They just took what was presented to them on a silver platter. And who can blame them? I would've done the same.
I guess, in going through the same routines, I was also attracting certain kind of people.. "Rescue"'s, one of the girls I know calls them. Yes, that's probably the right term: somehow all of my previous partners needed my help (whether financial or emotional or both).
My flatmate did make me feel better,however: after I've told her the stories of my last 3 relationships, she made me see a different pattern. It appears that I was subconsciously trying to move away from what clearly was making me unhappy and, as the last one indicates, I was attracting people who were slightly different,better,than the previous partners.
Frenchy made me realise that in my last entanglement (that's really a proper name for it) the other person did not try to use me or take advantage of me in any way-not financially,emotionally (umm,that one is tricky,but we'll go with the flow) or physically. In fact, that girl made a point of saying that she "couldn't accept" certain something that I've offered (not material possession, that conversation was a bit deeper than that).
That relationship didn't happen,ultimately, but, at least, I am on the right path as far as my choice of prospective partners goes.
I do feel differently. Yes, I still want to be kind and generous, but this time, when I meet someone, I want to see them doing the same for me first. Generosity goes long way with me. Not just material, but generosity of spirit, emotional intimacy. I would like to see the other person willing to take steps to meet my needs, to make an effort.
With women ,it's always,always the little things that make a big difference. For me, it's not an expensive piece of jewellery or extravagant spending.
 It's a card, sometimes just a note or unexpected flowers for no reason-"just because" or a lunch prepared and packed for me by my partner,ready by my bag when I'm leaving for work.
It is my partner waiting for me,unexpected, when I come out of work, because we've been texting and she knows I've had a hard day.
It's her turning up at my doorstep late at night with a bottle of wine, just for a cuddle..
Connection between 2 people should be warm and nurturing,the one of total acceptance and support. The one of equality.
My flatmate gave me a pep talk, as I've been really busy these past few weeks and really didn't have a chance to even think about a relationship, never mind go look for one.
 She said that now, in my new, enlightened state, I should be in a different mind frame and projecting different "vibes" and will certainly attract someone who treats me the way I deserve to be treated.
I am very much looking forward to that, especially since my horoscope promises all kinds of good tidings :)

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