Diaries Magazine

I Wanted to Walk Out and Then I Realized I Didn't

Posted on the 04 July 2022 by Sani09 @sani09

I have always believed that Love and Relationships are different things, often misunderstood to be the same.

If love is a feeling, an emotion, you can love anyone you wish to, and from a distance too. You do not expect anything in return so whatever you receive is a gift, a bonus, a dessert for your meal. Love inherently is unconditional and non-judgmental. Something close to divine and inexplicable. Can you think of how you love your friends and never judge them to be anything less than perfect no matter how they are and how different they are from you or your other friends?

And then comes infatuation. Oh, that feeling when your mind is on Cloud Nine! The start of a heady love-affair. The butterflies in your stomach. How you think of them almost all the time. How all the love songs suddenly make sense. And how, even if it is the umpteenth time you have a crush, you can't help but see your crush as no less than human embodiment of perfection.

Sometimes, we love this feeling of infatuation so much that we end up chasing it one after the other. Think of serial dating on online dating apps these days.

Sometimes, we are so attached to this feeling of infatuation that we forget to see all the red flags and jump into a relationship already with the other person.

And at other times, we take our time through the infatuation, enjoy the so-called "honey moon period", and then get into a relationship and forever miss the period of courtship.

Relationships are hard work. Marriages are hard work. Don't get me wrong, it is easy to find someone you can marry and then marry that person. It is hard to stay married. Or stay happily married.

And this is why so many couples keep complaining about their spouse. A) Some complaints are just benign and pesky like how the guy never hooks the door when he enters the bathroom or how the girl keeps complaining about the food in the restaurant as if the guy cooked it. B) Some complaints are lethal like domestic violence or verbal abuse.

I used to wonder why so many people stayed married while complaining while they could just leave. But they never leave. All they say is - "Please don't get married like we did. You are enjoying your life. We are living in hell, here."

I don't think they are living in hell though. I used to. Not anymore. I think when it is the first kind of pesky complaints, it is mostly that they miss the sweet things that used to feel rewarding during the courtship period, but now feels like they deserve it but they don't get it when they need/want it. But they still love the other person. Maybe not in a public restaurant or on an IG story. But they love them in a way that involves a lot of care yet is a bit conditional and judgmental in nature. These are arranged marriages, and love marriages where the spark is lost but some love remains.

The landlady at my new apartment, just like the landlady at my previous apartment, said to me - "Don't get married. After you get married, life becomes more about your husband and child than yourself. There is no time for yoga or meditation. I wish I was single."

"I don't think so, or else you would not have stayed married for so long." I said this for the first time to someone, although it was the umpteenth time I had heard this statement.

"You are right, Sanhita. It is nice to have companionship. It is too much work managing a house, but it is nice to have people around." There was the truth she uttered after I gave it a thought.

This reminds me of what my dear friend AM told me a couple of years back. "When someone tells you to not get married but is married themselves, just ask them to get a divorce and see their reaction!" :-D

People choose what they choose and it includes their life styles and relationships too.

If you are in a relationship, and are constantly complaining about your spouse, either seriously or as a joke, the thing is you are choosing to be in it. You are choosing to not leave it either out of the fear that you will not get anyone better or out of the love you have for the other person. Now what remains is another choice for today and tomorrow. Is complaining or getting annoyed over little things working for you?

The second kind of complaints (abuse/violence) are more psychological in nature. It becomes like a drug. You are blinded in love but also dipped in toxicity. That is to be kept for another day.

What most people go through is the first kind. The complaints they feel are not enough to get a divorce, and yet not too few to be happy in the relationship.

While when you are in love, all you have is attachment. A secure relationship demands that you remain a little detached, that you feel whole yourself as a person, and anything the other person offers become a dessert while you remain the main course, the big deal.

But let's face it, detachment sucks sometimes. Being detached and saint-like makes us miss some little joys of silly things sometimes.  Having no heady emotions is boring. Sometimes we love to lose our wholeness and become this needy pathetic mess. Sometimes we want to expect all the things in the world. It's more of a stubbornness than anything real or permanent, I promise.

The day before yesterday I was a miserable mess with the guy I am dating. Let's call him Mr. B (Reference: Big from Sex and the City). All I really wanted was probably one decent phone-call or a coffee/dinner date, and because I wanted him to initiate it and he didn't, (Turns out - Lovers can't read minds! Say what? :D)  I did throw my share of tantrums over other things and created a mound out of a molehill, instead of simply initiating what I expected. This was a first for me. I don't remember doing anything like this before.

So, I couldn't help but wonder (yes, just like Carrie from SATC), that is this what other people go through too when they complain about their spouses? I used to believe anyone who complains about their spouses should either stop complaining and honor the other person for all the efforts they put in, or just leave through the front door and live with themselves or someone else.

But when I experienced something similar, something that was a first dramatic fight for me, I realized I didn't want to walk out the front door. I just was tired and exhausted, and I wanted a little cradle where I could lie down to rest. I just wanted a hug. The tantrums were enough to make him meet me, just not for a well-dressed dinner date but for a rushed and quick catch-up. 

"Do you want me to leave or do you want a hug?" He asked.

"A hug," I responded while wiping my tears.

As soon as we hugged, I was fine. Turns out, that was all I needed - some attention, some support.

Sometimes I call up my friends and ask them directly, "I want to crib. Can I have some of your sympathy?"

"You can crib. But you won't get any sympathy."

"Why can't I? Please! I want some sympathy."

And they would eventually remind me why I don't need that sympathy and then we laugh it all off. Sometimes we need some silly things in life, and it is okay to ask for them. And then remind ourselves, that we don't really need them, but we just want to enjoy some of that. Like an ice cream.

And how many times we just forget to ask for what we truly need, and create problems instead?

How many times do we hide our real desires and suppress them with trivial ones and then never get satisfied or truly happy?

How many times do we keep complaining about our boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses over trivial matters, but never figure out the real reason that all we need could be a little appreciation after a long, tiring day?

Of course, therapy and healing from past traumas becomes a continuous practice in everyday life. We work on our triggers and underlying fears continuously. It makes life so much better. If it were some 3 years before, I would have shamed myself for acting needy or clingy or miserable. 'How dare I not be perfect?' I would have thought.

But what if we don't need to wait our entire lives to be completely healed, completely whole, completely needless, a full-fledged saint and then allow ourselves to receive a gentle hug?

Even saints get angry. They aren't God. (Looking at the condition of the world, maybe God gets angry too. Who knows?)

What if when we need the hug, we simply ask for it instead of expecting the other person to read our minds?

You don't need to be perfect to allow little perfect things to come to you.

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