Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thinking out loud

One of my neighbors is a transfer student who came in a few weeks back. She hasn't had much time to adjust to Whitmyre yet, and still keeps to herself as far as I've seen. Her boyfriend, who apparently has been on campus all year, must have been happy that she transferred. She's apparently not, though.

I overheard her tearfully yelling at him this morning, because I happen to have bad timing and was walking back from class at the moment she finished her attack and stormed out of the study lounge. I can safely assume I'm not the only one who heard; the door was partially open and she was loud enough to be heard indistinctly from the stairwell. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I suspect it's happened before. She seemed rather upset about it too. He, on the other hand, looked more confused than anything else. I feel bad for him in some way.

At the same time I worry about my neighbor's well being, I have come to realize how blessed I am to have a stable relationship where there's no yelling, no "I thought you loved me!" and no storming out of rooms. It seems that taking the time to understand your partner is becoming less and less of a priority for my peers, despite its obvious importance to a healthy relationship.

I was brought up in a supportive, loving family, which provided me with at least some base to build my relationship experience on. Then I hit high school and had two relationships, neither of which was much good for various reasons. Despite my "failure" I see those past partners as learning experiences, sounding boards for socialization. I'm now on number three, and have been with him for seven happy months. This is what I've learned:

  • Trust is important. If you don't trust someone, it's difficult to love them.
  • Equally important is honesty, because honesty builds trust. You don't have to tell her that she looks fat in that dress, but you should tell her if you're coming home late.
  • Separate but equal is better than inseperable and unequal. You can't become dependent on someone else unless you're capable of independence already, otherwise you're lost when your partner isn't there. It's also hard to hold up one end of a relationship when the other end isn't doing much work. Partners are just that - not boss and underling, but co-workers.
  • Relationships are like bridges. They can span distances, they can get across obstacles, and they can lead to undiscovered territory. They can also collapse without proper structural support.
  • Communication is the key to doors you didn't know existed. Some of them hide scary things behind them, but others have more wonderful prizes than you could imagine. Talk to your partner, and let them talk to you. You might find something really exciting.

    I often wonder why so many people can recite these lessons, and yet don't follow them. This isn't the times tables, it's a guide to better, longer, healthier and happier relationships. One would think people might like the idea of a lasting marriage, or even a steady significant other. Who am I to tell everyone what to think, though? They're doing so well on their own... and maybe it's for the best that few people in this world have long term relationships, stay together to start families, and raise them properly. I'm still saddened by the incredibly high divorce rate in this country. I think it has more to say about American Values than any "War on Terror" ever could.

  • 1 comment:

    1. Hmmm...

      Well, I wouldn't know, I'm single right now and my last *good* relationship that lasted for very long was 1800 years ago.

      But, I think this post was... thought out and good anyway. Har.