What happens when you’re in a relationship, and you start changing? How do you manage this? When I look at people who have been with the same person since their late teens, I wonder how they do it. Surely they would have gone through significant changes in that time. They would have gone through university, the first job, other jobs, getting new hobbies, learning new things, and going from what they were to what they became during that time. How do you make it work? What is the secret recipe for this? Why can’t I seem to do it?
The entire nature of human beings is that we continue to change and adapt. Obviously you can do it alone, but how do you do it with someone else? I got into a very serious relationship really early in life, 21. I definitely didn’t know who I was then, but we ended up engaged. Then I wanted to keep changing and growing, I wanted to move to another country, and as it had been hard for him even leaving the state he was born in, he wanted to just stay where he was. That of course was followed by some unspeakable and unforgivable acts that I won’t get into, so I ended up jumping into a sling-shot, and hurtling myself into this massive process on my own, which included a very short lived rebound with someone four years younger than me. He was nice enough, but in hindsight, he really was a rebound kind of guy at the time; a lot of fun, and completely unreliable and untrustworthy.
It took years for me to get into a relationship again. When I did, it was with someone who I could really be with. You know how in your early twenties it’s all about the romance and the big gestures. In my late twenties, I found out it was all about the little things. It wasn’t about constantly having something to talk about – it was more about being comfortable with just being together. It had stopped being all about the consuming passion and become more about the underlying friendship. Of course there was passion. There was crazy passion that could still make my stomach jump when I think about it now. We were speaking about moving in together, and how I would continue being active with yoga through pregnancy. We started putting together the building blocks of a future.
Then what happened? Honestly, I still don’t know. I took a short yoga teaching course over a weekend to see if that’s where I wanted to head. Although I like my job, I can’t think of being in the corporate world and raising a family at the same time. It all went down-hill from there. Suddenly he didn’t know me, we were not communicating, I was not attractive, and he didn’t see a future for us. If I hugged him it was wrong, if I didn’t it was wrong. If I made dinner it was wrong, if I was indifferent he’d get angry. I just didn’t know what to do anymore, so I left him alone for a bit, and that was wrong too.
I am well aware that every relationship goes through ups and downs, and everybody makes mistakes. How do you recover? Yes, there is forgiveness, and I’ve generally found it easy to do so, but how do you get someone to forgive you? Honestly, I am very old fashioned when it comes to relationships. Somehow the modern mantra of relationships being disposable missed me. Am I wrong to think this way? Is there something wrong with me that I have faith when there it is almost impossible to do so? Should I take on the modern perspective that if something doesn’t work out you just move on to the next thing?
In this world where everything is short lived, where you leave a job if you don’t like it, where forks, spoons, cars and houses are disposable, where the world is constantly moving, does a forever relationship have no place? And if it does, what is wrong with women like me? Have I just become such a messed up hybrid of modern and traditional that I can’t be with a man who is either modern or traditional? If a woman has been alone for a while, and is quite independent, does it make being with someone more difficult? And I am wondering, had I become one of those women who just goes through the transition of being child, wife and mother, would things be different?