Yesterday was a day of consuming content about this topic. It was a coincidence that the wonderful stage play I watched complemented the On Being podcast I listened to while I was running. On the podcast, the conversation was between Alain de Botton and Kristy Tippett. They spoke about how relationships should start with this – “How are you crazy? I am crazy this way.” This would dispel any notion of the perfect relationship because it presupposes that we are tricky individuals who might not be easy to fathom. It shines the limelight on the good enough partnership that is far removed from the feels of romantic love. It situates long term relationships in the context of daily, ordinary life.
On the other hand the show Vibrator Play depicted multilayered relationships and how these are viewed against the lens of a society at the cusp of a big shift due to the discovery of electricity. Considered a Victorian sex comedy, it uses humor to convey the various dimensions of love, especially those that are commonly overlooked or taken for granted in adult relationships. So many nuances portrayed across several characters but the most striking message for me was about rediscovering the self, craziness and all, within the relationships that exist. And this includes not just marriage but deep friendships as well.
As we find ourselves cultivating lifelong partnerships, we realize that these are the most complex of relationships and this takes hardwork. It takes effort to empathize with another and loving is essentially an attempt to put ourselves in the shoes of another, especially during times when we are on the other side of the negotiating table. It also takes so much out of us to speak with politeness, which is an attempt to hold privately held feelings at bay to keep the peace and stability. So tiring, but also so fulfilling to be part of such deep relationships that spring from the constant choice to keep it together. And yes there is no other way.