Relationships are meant to mark the beginning of a new life involving two people, sharing their good times and their bad, because they both care for each other deeply… Here in the real world, relationships don’t always work like that – in fact, they hardly ever work like that! There will always be something we don’t want to hear about or something we can’t help with and when that happens, although it’s not our fault, it goes against the unrealistic relationship code we seem to have laid out for ourselves.
In the real world, most things to do with any relationships work on a tit for tat basis because generally speaking… you’re not getting what you want without giving something back.
I’m not planning on criticising a tit for tat basis, I think it’s probably the only fair way to get certain things done when you’re a couple; what I am criticising is the less-fair just tit relationship – or just tat, if you’d prefer. The one-sided relationship between the person that always gives and the person that always takes, is something that I’ve seen a lot of lately, and it’s got me thinking about how many of us are actually in an equal relationship and how many of us are living our romantic lives lop-sided!
There will be times when you can’t give something back, or you don’t expect/want anything back – I’m not close-minded enough to believe that there aren’t circumstances when this mantra fails – but generally speaking, isn’t a relationship something you should both be getting something out of, rather than just one of you? A friend of mine raised this issue for me recently when we were discussing her seven-year-relationship that seems to be slowly dying thanks to the heavy demands of her boyfriend. My friend, who will remain anonymous, is a giving person – one of those “will do anything for anyone” types – and after knowing her for just over a year I can already see that her partner puts unrealistic demands on her, and then offers nothing in return. Due to this observation I found myself asking her why she was still with him, and her exact response was… “I don’t know really.”
Now personally, I think alarm bells would have started ringing for me if that had been my answer; but she genuinely sees nothing wrong with that response, because this is what a relationship is to her. Hence why I’m wondering how many more people out there are stuck in this kind of situation because we seem to have taken a step back in terms of relationships and their equality!
I’m not naïve enough to believe that relationships are always enjoyable – in fact, I’ve had enough of them myself to know that they’re not – but surely there is a point, if they become so un-enjoyable, if you will, that you can’t possibly keep putting yourself through it, right? Being with another person is meant to be a character and life-enriching experience that does good things for you – good things that don’t involve exhausting your emotional resources because your partner can’t give you anything back. By all means support your partner – be there when they need you, sometimes even be there when they don’t – just in case they change their mind – but if you’re always there, and they never are… doesn’t that tell you something?