Everyone has that relationship at some point in their life where they are so ridiculously in love and attached to the person, even though it is obviously an unhealthy relationship. Are we blind to it at the time? Or are we completely aware but our heart won't listen to our brain? Why do we stay? And after it's finally over (for those of us who are lucky enough to escape) why do the thoughts of that person still haunt us?
Now, I'm not talking about solely women, it's men too. I'm 25 years old and pretty much everyone I have a deep conversation with and get to know has that one person in their life that still drifts into their thoughts from time to time, and more often than not, the memories recalled of that relationship are usually unhealthy ones, with a melancholy disposition because as aware they are of the negative aspects, they still desire to idealize the relationship because for some reason they cannot let go.
I often wonder if the reason we put so much stake in these relationships is because we get conditioned from movies, television, and books. When you hear a love story, there is always some sort of conflict. The couple does not merely meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. There is always some grand fight, some mistake, and then the one character proves their love in some grand gesture and then the end. We see a couple fighting, on the brink of killing each other and then they start making off, knock everything off the table and start going at it. We associate the fighting, the conflict, the gestures with passion. So we have become conditioned to believe that when we're in a relationship with a lot of fighting, it is passionate and that it means we love each other more. We think that we fight because we believe the relationship is worth fighting for. But are we naive?
I know that I would probably get bored in a seemingly perfect relationship. If we never disagreed, if we were always happy and satisfied and never fought, then we would be like robots, I suppose. I like fighting because it shows that I have my own identity, beliefs, wants, needs, etc.
I think everyone secretly enjoys or craves that kind of passion we see in the movies (yes men, I'm talking to you too). I think that every girl wants to be swept off her feet, or even do the sweeping if you will. And I think every guy longs to know a girl so well that he can do some big romantic gesture (that he can afford) to show her how much he loves her. I think when you're fighting in a relationship, you do secretly wish that you could just start making out with the person and let the problems go. I think we all look back to those relationships because they were so seemingly passionate and wish that we could have the happy ending. I think the reason those stick out in our heads is because we wish that we would've been able to fix things. We want to fix things, we want to fix people. But the truth is, real love, healthy love, isn't about "fixing" the person. It's about loving the person for exactly who they are. Sure, they may disagree with you, sure you may fight, but at the end of the day, it's about compromise. And compromise can't happen with two people wanting two completely different things and there isn't common ground. A healthy relationship is when you don't want someone to change because you find the things that might irritate someone else, endearing. You love that they chew extremely loud. It makes you smile that they can't ever make a decision. You fell in love with them because of those so-called "flaws". You don't want to "fix" someone that you love. You can help them with their problems yes, but only because they want help, or need help. When I say "need" help I mean it's not something that you think they would be better without, I mean cases where it is pretty clear they need help, like if the person had cancer and needed help getting through chemotherapy.
I think we become addicted to the perceptions of how a relationship should be. We think that a relationship should be like in the movies. Personally, I look to my brother and sister-in-law. Yes, they fight, but it's never a huge public blowout. You usually only hear about it when they joke about it with the family. But they love each other, and they are completely themselves, and they enjoy spending time with each other, as well as with other people. They have a healthy relationship. Sad to say, healthy relationships aren't normal anymore.
But I have what I consider to be a healthy relationship. And I've done the screaming battles in the past. And I prefer where I'm at now. When I look back on the fights, and the tears, and even yes, the make-ups, I don't see passion. I see passion when my boyfriend has a hard day and I do something to cheer him up and he gives me a big hug and kiss to thank me. I see passion in the eyes of couples who have been together for fifty years and still look at each other like it's the first time they kissed. I see passion in the embrace a military spouse gives his wife or her husband when they return home. And those relationships weren't built on frequent screaming matches, controlling, paranoia, cheating, abuse, insecurities, or any of the other elements in unhealthy relationships. It was built on trust, honesty, compromise, communication, and faith.
Addiction isn't a good thing, so why let yourself be addicted to a memory, or a person? Let it go. Let them go. Move on with your life and don't be afraid to be alone, because at least then you're with someone worth loving....yourself.
Okay, that ending sounded pretty lame. But it's the truth.