The Illusionary Perfect Relationship

Relationships are tricky. Regardless of what anybody tells you, relationships take work. All that 'magical-butterflies-in-your-stomach' kind of passion eventually fades away, and before you know it, you're going to see the real person--the person they've been hiding for quite some time. The "real person" may even be better than you've imagined....or not. But here's the thing: it's taking two individual people from two entirely different backgrounds and lives, and then meshing them together. You do not "become one"--you become two people sharing their lives together. Once you start believing that you "become one," somehow, perhaps someone, will try and control the situation if that "one life" seems to change or becomes 'different' in some way. With that being said, those two people may change views and beliefs, and sometimes, those views and beliefs become entirely different than yours. Maybe their desired living destination has changed and they want to move somewhere tropical, and the other person prefers a colder climate. It's been proven that the "seven year itch" it realistic as it comes. That's because every seven years, our body chemistry changes. Our taste for food changes, even our allergies change. So you can imagine, your entire outlook on how relationships "should be" changes. But here's the question that needs to be asked: what's the glue that holds you two together?

If the answer is your children only, then you're going to end up resenting one another when the kids are out of the house and the divorce papers finally arrive. My mother always told me, if you can laugh with someone---I mean belly laugh type of laugh, then that person is a keeper. If you can laugh at the craziness of life, and what you two have been through, then you've got it all. Many couples' "glue" is their faith in God. It's hard to find someone with the same faith these days. There are so many people turning over to agnosticism or atheism---which is fine---free will, right? But for me, having the same faith as my partner is the most important thing. You two can edify and uplift one another, pray together, and if someone's faith starts fading out due to a loss or a heartbreak of some sort, your partner's encouragement is enough to kickstart your faith back up again. That's our glue. It's held us together in the darkest of times. Another great thing my mom told me was to make sure your other half loves you more than you love them. And it's not to say that you want to be lackluster in the relationship or marriage, but you want to know without a doubt in your mind, that the person you love, loves you just as much. You should never be someone's second choice. If there was a person that was picked before you, but you ended up 2nd place, leave. Runner up will never satisfy that person.

My favorite quote from Dream for an Insomniac is, “Anything less than mad, passionate, extraordinary love is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life to deal with and love shouldn't be one of them.”

After 20+ years, "mad" and "passionate' can definitely have its own interpretation. Let's get real: relationships require patience and understanding. But remember, if someone says that they never argue or fight, then either something is wrong or they're flat-out lying. A healthy argument here and there is actually a good thing. As they say, making up is the best part! Forgiveness is huge. And when you two come to the realization that you cannot be without one another, then you know that this is a lifer. Even separations can be healthy. It'll either make or break you. A long time ago, my wife and I had separated for over a year, and it made the both of us realize how much we couldn't live without one another. I would go out with my friends to a restaurant and think, "Oh wow, she would love this!" Or I'd see something in a mall and think, "This would look terrific on her!" When you truly love someone, you always want them there with you, experiencing everything with you, as well as having some balanced alone time too.

Love is not just a feeling. It's so much more than that. Love is an action. To love someone is to show them---to prove to them---to make it clear that you are caring for them (in whatever way you do.) Love is cooking for them. Love is working hard to make a life together. Love is taking care of each other in sickness and in health. Love is compromising. Love is intimacy---doesn't all have to be sexual, but it does require human touch: snuggling up watching a movie, holding hands, long talks over coffee, massaging their back after a long stressful day, drawing a bath for them or randomly saying "I love you" for no other reason than making sure he/she knows. The "perfect relationship" isn't out there. It's finding the imperfections of your partner beautiful, which creates the perfect bond.

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