— Aristotle (via observando)
— Audrey Hepburn (via observando)
I’ve been trying to give being in a relationship an honest shot. I am very aware of my history of being a commitmentphobe, but I’m starting to go back towards the feeling of “I am afraid of this for a reason.” What is it about relationships that require work? Maybe better is why do they require work? And why put work into something that leaves you unfulfilled? Ugh.
This is off-the-cuff, unedited, and is in no way intended as personal or related directly to your situation, to which I am not privy. Sometimes the words just won’t stay in.
Any relationship, romantic or otherwise, can provide us with a reflection of ourselves that we cannot see on our own. The more intimate the relationship the more difficult it can be to view. Perhaps because we either have to disagree with someone we love, or disagree with our view of ourselves. Long-time best friends can reach us in ways short time lovers may not, and vice versa for that matter. It doesn’t mean all that input is valid or applicable to our sense of self, but it is available to us both consciously and subconsciously.
Becoming intimate with another person begets accountability. Implied or explicit, it can make you uncomfortable if you are not strong enough in a particular your view of yourself to either take responsibility for the choices you make based on that view. It can be uncomfortable to acknowledge that in order to communicate and remain intimate with the world you may want to concede to things you held dear in the past. As humans, we fear change, we fear the unknown.
The question becomes what is more important, knowing yourself in the controlled universe of your influence, or being able to project your self into the world and allow feedback from those you love?
Relationships require work because regardless of how much we love each other, the views we hold of ourselves are imperfect, as are the views of others. The work is there for us to find ourselves through the reflection of ourselves in others, and provide a mirror for them to do the same through honesty and accountability of our thoughts and actions.
That doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself. Quite the opposite, you are helping define yourself and others. It also doesn’t mean that it has to be hard—as in abusive or even tense—but in my opinion, any relationship romantic or otherwise, without some discomfort is not one of growth. And personally, I want my primary relationships in life—work, friends, lovers—to not only bring me joy on my terms, but to also, preferably gently, provide me with insight into ways I can improve myself and grow as a person.
For this reason it is important for us to chose our various types of intimate relationships with care. The work being done is the most rewarding work of all. Communication, accountability, love and acceptance have to be there. After that, there may still be some discomfort along the road.
Or that’s at least what my coffee has to say this morning. I have one or two other tangents for “work in relationships” that I’ve not explored yet but are also interesting to me. I’ll share them if you’re interested.