Monday, June 13, 2011

Logic to Love?

A friend of mine reconnected with her ex. It was the pink elephant in the international chat room every time we exchanged instant messages.

It got me thinking about relationships. There's a part in the whole dating scene that doesn't seem to fit in with marriage.

You see, we are now being taught to see if our habits combine. Is living together annoying?

I didn't have that option. Anyone who has read my 'How I Got Here' tab knows that it was a fast union. But there is a benefit to that. You fall in love with the person, the actual person. You don't get a chance to find out if this or that habit is annoying. There is no separation due to the way one chews food. You are already there.

Obviously, there can be a big backlash from it but if you look at it in the right light, it is brilliant. Let me ask you this, who goes to the restaurant for the appetizers over the main course? You never hear "The truffles and filet minion are amazing but the cheese platter sucks!"

That's what happens when you marry fast in life. I married the main course. Obviously, there are more than a few etcetera that I could do without. I'm sure Mr. Rant would say the same but he is obviously lying because I am as perfect as a Rio de Janeiro summer.

Seriously though, when you meet that someone, the etceteras almost come off as charming at first. They definitely become annoying later but the main course is so rewarding that you let it go.

And that is marriage. It's the thing people just don't talk about it. A lot of a successful marriage is letting things go. You let go ridiculous of the hobbies or stupid collections that annoy you. You let your spouse have that stupidly irresponsible friend that always gets them into a little bit of innocent trouble. Why? Because a part of your spouse needs it.

When you love the base, you get the whole. You realize the flexibility in who a person is. You love them for it because that flexibility is what adapts to the needs you have. You two work together. Did I just say it? Oh yes I did! You become a team.

It took me a long time to learn that. A failed long term relationship and a couple of attempts at getting there showed me my lack of understanding.

That is why, when this friend wouldn't say she was back with the ex, I asked. I asked her about it and I asked if she was happy. I quickly followed that with the fact that I am happy for her. And I am! If she is happy, if this is what she wants, I will be cheering for it 110% of the way.

Unfortunately, the rules of relationships are different these days. The moment it is hard is the moment you can break it off. If this didn't work out, you have to watch out for yourself.

But I ask you this, if you are always watching out for yourself, who is watching out for your loved ones? If your loved ones are always watching out for themselves, who is watching out for you? You see, the equation doesn't quite work. You have to give to receive and to give you have to take a chance.

The thing is that in a good relationship the person will still be there when it's not in their favor. Why? Because they love you. No other reason. No other reason necessary.

I know this may be an old fashioned to think this way. I've kind of already accepted that I am old anyway. But there is some logic behind it.



  1. I agree with everything you said 100%. If you love a person, you love them no matter how annoying they are.

  2. During a drunken dialogue, a guy friend I grew up with and I came up with the metaphor that when you're married or in a real, good relationship, there's a sort of gelatinous mass between the two of you, and the stupid, BS, non-important stuff, like silly bad habits or pet peeves, can't get past it. So when I find myself getting annoyed at the little stuff, I always think back to the idea of the gelatinous mass with a smile. What do you think?

  3. "The thing is that in a good relationship the person will still be there when it's not in their favor. Why? Because they love you. No other reason. No other reason necessary."

    I think there is that. Yet it is also important to ask yourself "does this person know how to honor a deal?".
    Marriage, as Mr. Kanitz explains, is above all a contract.

    This is the best description I have read so far of the institution and it doesn't make it less romantic. It just reminds you that you have to keep your end of the bargain to make it work.

  4. I think if you have established the main fact, that you truly love your significant other and he/she loves you, that is a HUGE privilege in itself and you are ready to move to the next step.
    I also think not every one finds true love, you and Mr.Rant certainly sound like you have and you are one of the few privileged ones.
    Love is stupid, not rational at all, so when you have found the one, you are ready to start dealing with all the little BS details of daily life and mutual co-existence, which seems to be a life long process ( of choosing your battles ), and if both of you are smart enough, it gets easier with time, and better, much better, at least that has been my experience in the last 15 years with Gil. :)


  5. I'm in the same boat as you, got married fast and have learned to deal with the 'habits'. They're like brussel sprouts, I don't like them, but they've come with the dinner, and if I want my dessert, I've got to eat them.

  6. I agree with you. In the end, taking care of your relationship is all about learning how to tolerate the "etceteras" and to recognize that it's part of the process of sharing your life with someone else. But I believe this should be seen as an opportunity to grow individually and as a couple. We can not be completely passive and it's important to show them that we don't agree with something he/she does, or that something bother us. That will allow him to change, and the same thing works your way. I think that is the greatest thing about a long term relationship.

    But there is still a lot to learn, I feel like I'm still too young and my point of view can change a lot.

  7. I'm definitely in agreement about not doing anything passively, learning together, and growing. Come on, like I can do anything passively ;)

    But there is honoring a deal, respecting each other, and all that too.

    Btw, I didn't like brussels sprouts before I married and now I do. Coincidence? i think not

  8. To love someone forever can be done but to stay 'in-love' together as team takes tons of work and communication :)

    Count me in because even the brussel sprouts are worth the hard work....


  9. Agreed, Rachel. I just got on the freeway and already in the fast lane (I'm already "here", moved halfway around the world). Sometimes she thinks her dings and dents are too much for me, though I tell her if she looks at the dings too much, she's gonna miss the nice views.

  10. Achei este post magnificamente fantástico! Dizem que o Amor é o ridículo da vida, mas pro inferno com isso! Só quem ama de verdade, é mente aberta e aceita a pessoa exatamente como ela é, é que realmente sabe como é ser feliz! Todo amor que houver nessa vida pra você Rachel. =)

  11. As the song said back in the 80's:

    It takes two to make a thing go right,
    It takes two to make it outta sight.