Today I had a wonderful call with three very dear friends. Well, wonderful might be the wrong word, as we spoke about what happened during the last months and there are always good and bad things that occur. But being able to be vulnerable with other people and having the feeling that someone is really listening to you and is trying to understand is something wonderful.
At the moment, a big part of our talks is about love. I took a bit of time to reflect about what they were saying and also what I was saying as I process through talking.
One thing I realized is that when I start loving someone and sharing that love with that person, I make myself vulnerable. You might say so what, that is common sense. I agree. But I didn’t fully comprehend what this means for me, and I still might not comprehend it completely. When I open my heart two things can happen (yes, it is an oversimplification and the reality is more nuanced, but I think there is some value in analyzing the extreme). One, the other person loves you back and treats you in the best possible way. This is the best outcome and I wish everyone to experience this kind of love. Two, your heart gets crushed. The other person treats you badly and you will suffer as a result. Then the question is: do I have to suffer? and Why do I suffer?
Going into a relationship expecting or hoping that this will solve all your problems is super dangerous. Not only for the other person, but also for yourself. You will put expectations on your “loved” one that he or she cannot meet. And you will suffer, because the wish you had that now everything will be better won’t come true. I know that most of us go into a relationship with hopes and dreams and it is okay to do so. But, I think we should know our own expectations we put on others and we should be realistic about whether it is at all possible to fulfill them. If your job is bad or you don’t like your study, then don’t expect that a relationship can alleviate that pain. That is an unfair expectation. And yeah, you might say that you don’t have it, but are you truly honest with yourself? I know that several years back, I was thinking that if only I have a girlfriend then everything will be fine. I couldn’t be more wrong.
But to come back to my initial question of whether I do have to suffer? If I don’t want to suffer I have some work to do. I need to be as stable and as balanced as I can be before going into a relationship. Of course, a breakup is painful. But what most do and what I also do is suffer, which is self-inflicted. I learned quite a few things from my relationship about myself and that I am at risk of losing myself. Now, I have to find means and ways that this doesn’t happen again. I owe it not only myself but also my future girlfriend.
When two people decide to get together and live together there are so many pitfalls that they can encounter. If both try to work on themselves and are understanding towards each other and if both really listen to each other and want to make it work, then the likelihood of a successful relationship is high. If that is not the case, then there is so much more effort needed to make it work and there will be an imbalance.
Being vulnerable is a powerful thing and it feels good to open up towards somebody else. But I better make sure, that I am not dependent on their love or affirmation. This will be good for me and it will take some pressure off the relationship.
What do you think? Do you disagree or agree? Let me know =)