Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Evolving Views on Relationships

 “You are not getting any younger”.  “Yes, true love can wait, but the biological clock won’t.” “Do you think there is something wrong with you?” “What hinders you from committing into relationships lately?” “Don’t you think you are too picky?”

These are the most common questions friends and I get to hear from random people. I couldn’t care less most of the time, especially when it comes from those whose opinion don’t matter to me. Yep, I may be mean and stubborn but I don’t think I am obliged to explain myself. Come on, I do not follow a strict timeline for this thing, and I am sticking to my belief that it is better to adopt a child with the right one than have biological children with the wrong individual.

The very same questions came about last night, and yes, it did matter this time. I was with my closest pals in a cottage in the countryside, and after a few shots of what seemed to be the worst tasting spirit that triggered my allergy, we decided to talk about our common denominator- being single.  
I can’t speak for everyone, but I wanted to give my views justice.

Just like everyone else, I am emotional, but I can be the most unemotional as well. What does that make me then? You bet! I was looking for the word, human. See, they can label us cold or apathetic when we don’t care, but we are more than loving, caring and supportive when we feel something, or more appropriately in this context, someone, deserves it.

I thought about the relationships I had been through when I was younger, and I realized how my view of things had changed.

Here are some of them:

1. A beautiful person, not just a pretty face. Let’s admit it. Looks are overrated when we are looking for a partner. You’ve read that correctly. We live in the world where the desire for physical attractiveness is placed ahead of many other considerations. Don’t get me wrong, I believe physical appearance is essential, yet it is just the bare minimum. I believe it can’t stand alone. You see, just like a shell, it can withstand tests, but it will eventually get old over time.  If the person’s inner qualities aren’t the ones you can actually embrace, it’s a waste of time. There is nothing more frustrating than being a beautiful couple treating each other like trash. The standard for dates should be something that revolves around how enjoyable the person’s company can be; how better your life becomes in someone’s presence and how positive an individual made you feel. Now pour that positivity into a good-looking person. Didn’t it just evolve into something more than gorgeous? The deeper your emotional investment in someone, the more beautiful he/she becomes, and that is not merely skin deep.

2. The real deal. Some traits are just more seductive than others- and they last quite longer. Imagine finding someone with the perfect face and/or body who makes a good eye candy and gives you a good sex, but has no thirst whatsoever about life. This person seems not to possess curiosity in even the most interesting of topics, doesn’t want a career, and worse, do not give even just the simplest inputs to your conversations. Can you stand talks that do not go beyond a friend’s relationship with person X, or distaste over someone else’s lack of loyalty? Maturity means wider experiences, better education, visible achievements, which in turn leads to a clearer picture of where the person is heading in life, and for this matter, in the relationship.  We want to be with persons who are passionate about what they do in a manner that we are constantly drawn in, making us feel we have to back them up even when they can succeed on their own. Passion doesn’t stop, and it goes to everything done in our lives. Yes, you got it right. Nothing can pull passionate people away from what they set their eyes into (and that includes you). Didn’t we want to be with the ones who make life even more interesting? It pays to be with someone who delivers an intellectual trade-off.

3. Zeal for one’s uniqueness. Huh! “Be yourself”, that’s easier said than done. The true test of love goes with our willingness to concede our self-centered interests, making successful relationship a product of mutual efforts. As someone who had a foreign boyfriend, I can say that culture, and the things that go with it, can somehow be sneaky. You see, when you are deeply in love, you tend to be more open to “alternative” views, and thus, become accommodating of diversities. With values and culture being closely related, the clashing views on what is beneficial, acceptable, and beautiful can never be discounted. Values or belief systems do not change much, especially if they are something that uniquely defines identity. But, even though you belong to one general background, your personal views and practices will definitely vary, so nobody is really spared, anyway. Aren’t we more interested in something beyond usual?  Imagine dating a person who works in the same field with you. What is left for you to talk about? For sure, it would be refreshing to hear something new at the end of the day.  Uniqueness paves way for us to stand out; that is something that makes you pick the person from the crowd. Of course, if we share similarities with our partner, things can be a lot easier as we strive for the same thing. As no two people are exactly alike, loving someone for their uniqueness becomes an important foundation of any relationship.

See? Am asking too much? It’s not about being picky. People just have their set of preferences; a variation of standards. I know I am not getting any younger, but don’t you think that explains my mature choices? I don’t think there is something wrong with being single. In fact, it gives people more leeway to improve themselves, and be someone desirable to those they also want to be with. Getting into a relationship is not a race against time. Rather, it is something that requires time for polishing the ragged edges of one’s personality that endangers relationships. When the time comes that I can find a beautiful person who has something to trade off given our unique characteristics, I don’t intend to walk away.

If there is something that hinders me from committing, that would be the uncertainly of being able to give what someone I love deserves. Something chosen out of haste and can only last until they are out of sight, but something you work hard for can only get better with time.

*** To Angel, Anne, Vito, Jed, Kent, and newly found friends Alex, and Dave Shipper, you guys are on my mind when I started ticking the keyboard.  See how topics like this can trigger even my most sleep-deprived brain. Haha.