I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
The problem was, I put her on a pedestal. Not that she didn’t deserve the utmost respect and adoration, but I had idealized her as the perfect woman. Sadly, there is no such thing as a perfect woman, or perfect person for that matter. All we can really hope for is someone who fits into our lives, tolerates our mood swings, and still has enough left over to love us despite all of our inconsistencies. But I had viewed her as flawless. And like I have said before, when you idealize someone, you dehumanize them to the point that you will inevitably end up disappointed because no one is perfect and can live up to your romanticized ideal of a human being.
And really, the reality of that sucks. We all want to believe there is this absolute perfect person out there that can make us feel fulfilled and remember to take the garbage out and not get on our nerves but unfortunately, that only exists in brief and fleeting moments. But that doesn’t mean that we are doomed to forever be alone. It simply means that we need to keep a more realistic approach to finding a partner. Because that is only fair to everyone.
It really is an interesting concept when you think about it within the context of a relationship. We are taught to get what we can out of situations and people. Since the minute we are thrown into this world, we are subconsciously taught to be opportunists. That we are little “princes” and “princesses” and we deserve the best that life has to offer – without being told that we have to EARN what we deserve. Coupled with the fact that so much of youth culture revolves around songs and memes that not-so-ironically talk about putting yourself first in all situations. Which is reasonable to an extent, but the message of self-confidence can easily get obscured when you’re singing along to “fuck bitches, get money” and “I do me first” and “bros before hoes”. And it is that warped sense of entitlement that sets us up to fail at any real and genuine attempt we make at a healthy relationship.
See, it works like this – we find a person we think is amazing. We get to know them, they excite us with possibility, we let down our guard, and we exhale. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable and fall in love. Great. Perfect. It’s what most of us have always wanted. But the issues lies when someone inevitably wants more. They want more alone time. Or they want more of your time. Or they want more control of your time. Or they want more of a say in your life. Or they want you to come to them. For you to put forth more effort. To make more dinners. To do all the dishes. To pay all the time. To drive everywhere. To make significantly more sacrifices and compromises than they are willing to make because their definition of effort is drastically different than yours.
And unfortunately, I know some of you can identify with that. You know what it’s like to feel like you’ve been taken advantage of. That your time was not treated with the respect it has earned. And that sucks. But worst of all, it creates animosity. It creates a hostile atmosphere within your relationship dynamic because you don’t feel like you’re being treated fairly. And when someone doesn’t feel like they’re being treated fairly, it opens up the door for things like disrespect, lies, infidelity, stealing, and a host of other hidden vengeful behaviors.
And what makes it even worse is when you realize you’re being super shitty to them and it infuriates you even more because you’re now upset that they have such control over your emotions that they successfully dug out the worst parts of you. You begin to behave in embarrassing ways. Ways you promised yourself a long time ago you would no longer exhibit. Behaviors you believed you had grown past. But somehow, this person managed to bring them out in you and that makes you resentful. And that’s when you know you’ve lost all hope for a healthy relationship, because it is impossible to grow when you feel resentful, taken advantage of, and like you’re being treated unfairly.
All of us will feel like we have the upper-hand in a relationship at some point, but how we deal with it is directly representative of our character and what we deserve. If you are responsible with your power and don’t take advantage of it, then you have earned a healthy relationship. But at some point, most of us will feel like we are on the uneven side of the relationship as well. And how we communicate our feelings is directly proportionate to the self-confidence we have inside of us. And we all need to learn how to effectively and respectfully communicate with someone if we believe we deserve any semblance of a fair and healthy long-term relationship.
No relationship will ever be truly equal simply because no one can get inside our heads and understand our individual needs no matter how many times we shout about them. But what we can do is try. Try to keep it so it consistently hovers around equal. Because we all need to feel like we are getting back what we are putting in. And that is the definition of fair. And that is the foundation of our happiness.