The many lives of a couple
Everyone views relationships differently. You could be fused together into one single soul who share absolutely everything, from meals to friends and anything in between. Then there are those who adopt a more independent approach. I’m fairly certain there’s no single right or wrong approach; it’s clearly personal to each relationship and the individuals concerned. This doesn’t mean however that I don’t have my own opinion and preference on the matter. After all, they do say that Taurus women are tender and caring, yet tend to have firm opinions that are difficult to change. I’m no exception.
There’s this powerful quote by the great poet and writer Khalil Gibran that perfectly describes how I view a loving and fulfilling relationship. For me at least. Bear with me, the quote is indeed slightly long, but it’s well worth the thirty seconds.
“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. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” – Khalil Gibran
Every single day, a couple in love (most of the time) gets married. It’s joyous and wonderful. Every other day, another couple breaks apart or divorces. It’s saddening and mind boggling to say the least.
Now I don’t pretend to know the perfect equation to make it work, but I do believe that relationships should have a few distinct “lives”. Not fully separate, as of course they are intertwined mildly, but nevertheless necessary in order to stay sane and happy. In my humble opinion.
1. Each person’s individual life
Before entering a relationship we all have hobbies, friends, and things we’re passionate about. I don’t comprehend how some people let go of everything once they fall in love. Sure, there’s that initial “honeymoon phase”, and of course compromises will have to be made as one can’t possibly hold on to their fully single life once in a relationship. Nevertheless, there’s no need to forgo quality time with friends or hobbies that don’t involve your significant other. Say you love to dance, such as I do. Continue dancing, dance as much as you can, it’ll make you happy and happiness attracts further happiness. Who doesnt enjoy the company of a happy person? Have a weekend spa getaway with your girl friends, take painting classes, go to your favourite gym classes. In short, don’t lose yourself in the other person. Love is great, love is wonderful and sometimes all consuming. But don’t let it consume you to the point where you forget who you are.
2. The life of the couple
I don’t claim to be a marriage expert nor wish to become one. However my personal observations of successful and healthy relationships, and the demise of marriages around me have led me to these conclusions. It seems that once children enter the picture, couples forget that they were indeed a twosome before the arrival of their little bundles of joy. And that often leads to a widening gap between both individuals. Date nights, romantic outings, and one on one trips are crucial in order to keep things spicy and fun in a couple. Call me a terrible person but I’m deadly scared of turning into one of those couples that make their lives all about the children.
3. The family life
I’m not crazy, I do realize that once children enter the picture, the dynamics obviously change. There’s this little being who’s completely dependent on your care and love. It’s amazing how a child can either bring a couple closer together or break it apart. I believe it all has to do with being on the same page on how to raise your child and how to divide tasks and responsibilities. If that’s naturally agreed upon, then the family cocoon is solid and unbreakable. Yearly family trips are a must in my opinion, as well as proper family quality time, which doesn’t include mobile phones and iPads. There’s nothing that I loved more while growing up than being with my parents strolling along the park pathway, or going on road trips to Florida.
Yes, I know, I’m not married and wouldn’t know first hand the struggles that come along with marriage. But having something good to aspire to doesn’t hurt, right?
“I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding.” -Unknown