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This post will be all about incompatibilities, insincerity, and lack of options in relationships. It also tries to describe and differentiate true love from deceptive one. Love can mean different things to various groups of people. But many contemporary urban societies enamored with the idea of romantic love, a true love is said to be a mutual self-giving that is sincere and based on trust, accepting the other no matter who he or she is!
Incompatibilities in Relationships are Facts of Life
Couples always wish that their relationships should develop smoothly as they want them to be. But not all lovers can be sincere at all times. Sometimes, it is the social situations that will make them dishonest because of unmet needs. Partners can also have different motives on why they enter into loving relationships. As many sociologists would say: “Things are not what they seem!” What we externally see maybe not be the truth if we investigate further people’s motives. Some couples may appear to be loving and sweet in public, but deep inside their hearts are full of pain and hurts because of incompatibilities in personalities, views, beliefs, tastes, and personal values they experience daily in their union.
Well, couples can’t really avoid conflicts and incompatibilities in relationship. Social scientists believe that romantic or marital relationships are always cross-cultural. Every partner has his or her own cultural orientation and social upbringing which can lead to various forms of conflicts in the relationship. Cultural and personal differences are facts of life. No two people are identical. Each social situation and people’s reactions to it are unique. Even identical twins are culturally different.
What is important is not how we avoid incompatibilities in a loving relationship, but how we understand them empirically and deal with them effectively in order to maintain the relationship. Many divorce cases occur because many couples wish that the irreconcilable incompatibilities should not have been there in the relationship. They expect marriages to be made in heaven. Thus, they give up finding creative ways to continue their loving relationships when their love runs dry because of irreconcilable differences.
Experts believe that every loving relationship undergoes different stages. Dr. Jed Diamond of the website “Menalive.com” identified 5 stages of love. And it is often stage 3 or the period of discovery and disillusionment that causes break-ups and separations among couples. This is the stage when the love of couples runs dry and undergoes serious challenge:
Stage 1: Falling In Love
Stage 2: Becoming a Couple
Stage 3: Disillusionment
Stage 4: Creating Real, Lasting Love
Stage 5: Using the Power of Two to Change the World
During the courtship or honeymoon phase or Stage 1, partners and spouses can be full of infatuation and romantic love. But as time goes by and partners become familiar with one another during the discovery or disillusionment phase or Stage 3, conflict, abuse, misunderstanding can arise and ultimately challenge the relationship. Experts say that this stage is the most difficult phase in a relationship. If one partner cannot accept the limitation of the other or whatever incompatibility they have in the union, frustrations, pains, and conflicts, can eventually ruin the commitment. Overcoming Stage 3 is crucial in a relationship since the next stage is creating true and lasting love. True love would only occur if the couple can accept each other’s weakness and limitations, saying: “I love because you’re you” as the song goes!
But not all relationships are meant to last because the some motives of one or both partners are deceptive. One partner maybe using the other to pursue his or her personal agenda. Despite this, there are still people who allow a manipulative type of love and tolerate their partners’s abuse, most probably because of their lack of options to find financial support or other partners if they leave the relationship. This particularly true for people who deliberately stayed with abusive partners due to social pressure, advanced age, and lack of education or career. A person who is single with mature age or a young person who is pressured by his or her peer group or relatives to have a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse may cling to an unhealthy or one-sided romantic love because of loyalty.
As the following lyrics of the song “I can’t live without you” by the Bad Company illustrate:
The first time you deceived me, it nearly broke my heart
What hurts me most was I’m the last to know
So lately I’ve been thinking, thinking ’bout you
I know deep in my heart you had to go
Last night when I told you, you looked into my eyes
A wicked smile just spread across your face
You know I can’t resist you, no matter what you do
The way you treat me babe, it’s a disgrace
According to the great Winston Churchill, an “[i]mmature love says, I love you because I need you, mature love says, I need you because I love you.” A true and mature romantic relationship does not use the other for selfish reasons. True love allows both partners to grow as persons and does not manipulate or use the other.
But not all romantic relationships can blossom into real love. Because of some psychological issues faced by people in romantic love as well as incompatibilities in terms of personal trait and character between lovers, the initial feeling of love or infatuation can turn into an “unhealthy” romantic relationship. People who experience this type of love are advised to leave the relationship and move on to search their true love.
Here’s an example of a one-sided and unhealthy types of romantic relationship. The lack of option is one important reason why people stay in a one-sided love affair. Obviously, this type of romance is not true love:
“I don’t really know if I can call it love but I really care for this guy in my college. I had always been a reserved, socially awkward individual. I never really dated any guy in my school years because I couldn’t even look in the eyes of a man without blushing!…However, I am a changed person today—more confident, smart, straight forward and honest. This guy in my college was the FIRST guy who told me “I am falling for you”. He told me he thought I was beautiful. It took over a month to finally tell him a yes because I was afraid if he would hurt my feeble heart. The thing about me is that if I love, I love unconditionally….And so we spend a lot of time together and during one of our conversations he told me about his psychological condition—he had split personality, was a socially disconnected individual and couldn’t handle relationships. He told me about how his “falling in love” phase lasted only for hours to a few days…But the more I knew about his flaws, the more I loved him.
Over time, I empathized so much with him that I ended up mirroring his emotions and his personality…I also realized that the only reason he sticks around with me is because 1) I am regular at work and is a good student at college. Hence, I can inform him of assignments to be submitted and college holidays. 2) He said he can’t afford a girlfriend at the moment and I am available at a ‘cheaper price’ and mostly free because I don’t demand for anything. 3) I am a girl and he is a guy and he can satisfy his ‘needs’….
No! This is certainly not the way I wanted a man to love me. But I continued to remain in this one-sided, broken relationship in the craving and greed for the temporary happiness I gained when I was with him. I’ve lost all my self-respect; I have begun to value him more than I value myself. I know this isn’t good but I just can’t get over him and I just don’t seem to find the true love I have looking for my entire 19 years.
Love and intimacy go hand in hand in romantic love. But these things must be felt by both partners. Love is the physical, emotional, sexual, intellectual, or social affection one person holds for another, while intimacy is the close relationship of two people where mutual acceptance, nurturance, and trust are shared at some level.
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