Our world is constantly changing, and so is our society. Social practices are changing all the time. What men wouldn’t dream of doing 10 years ago is slowly becoming commonplace. The 21st century man is able to express his feelings and emotions, cook, decorate, and dress stylishly, all while maintaining his masculinity. So where does that leave you? If you are visiting this blog, you're probably looking for some tips on how to improve your lifestyle. This is your chance to get started.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Relationships (Part One)

I recently visited another blog where I read an entry that caused me to do a bit of thinking. I am often asked why I am not married or have not married. The strange thing is that in our society it is totally acceptable, in today's terms, to have been married and divorced by your late twenties or early thirties, perhaps even twice!

I have been in several committed and long term relationships; the longest of these was three years. Within the last of the 3 years both she and I began to notice signs that we probably shouldn’t be together. The thing is the longer you are together, at least in my opinion, the harder it is to break it off. Eventually we broke up on very amicable terms.

The longer you stay in a relationship that you feel is flawed, the longer you perpetuate the problem. Sometimes only one person feels this way, but the likelihood is, that if you feel uncomfortable your partner probably does too. The best thing to do in the short term is try to talk about it. You may even try counseling, but in the long run if you feel something in the pit of your stomach, and a little voice telling you this is not the right person for you, you should probably follow your instincts.


Blogger M said...

I second that last sentence..:)

3:23 PM

Blogger gusgreeper said...

i third this...i get really lucky here in that i already have a therpist so i can take adam in with me if i want to or if we need to.

6:38 PM

Blogger gulnaz said...

its a scary thought, that love is not forever!

1:55 AM

Blogger DeeM said...

Yes, true. I can't say I haven't done this in the past. When the very sound of your SO breathing makes you want to hurt him badly, I guess it's time to get out.

6:46 AM

Blogger boabhan sith said...

I agree, I was in a relationship for four years and honestly the only reason I kept taking him back (b/c I dumped him several times) was b/c of the sex. It's really hard to break it off if they're good in the sack.

...uhm, sorry...maybe that was too much information, lol.

6:56 AM

Blogger Sk8RN said...

Very interesting post. Love can last, though. My partner and I have had our ups and downs. There was one point when we considered breaking up. But we got through it. And I think we're all the better for all the hard times we've gotten through. Though I don't have that pit in the gut feeling you're talking about, so I guess I could just be lucky to have found someone I could spend my life with. It seems, though, that long-term relationships are not as interesting to hear about as the stories of what didn't work. Perhaps it is this absence of stories of how it does work that people tend to give up on their relationships so fast. I almost feel like culturally, being single is the norm or the hip thing to do. I would never give up my relationship to join the bandwagon, but I do wonder which comes first the chicken or the egg - the culture that encourages divorce or the divorces themselves.

10:06 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

thanks Neel.

4:24 PM

Blogger Neel said...

M, I'm glad your in agreement.

Spock, how often do you do that?

Gulnaz, I am not saying that at all, my parents are still married, and I believe in marrying for life. I was just saying, its better to be sure, before rushing into it.

Deem, I would have to agree with that.

Boabhan, no problem, it was fine.

Sk8r, I am happy to hear that your relationship is strong one. However, I do not feel that being single is the norm or that it's hip. I also do not feel that society encourages divorce (I think that society makes it easy), but I also think that partners in the relationship are not willing to work very hard at staying together, so they opt for the easy way out. Of course, this is just my humble opinion. *smile*

Ms Laughs, is that it! You usually have more to say.

5:06 PM

Blogger Lorena said...

i see many people around me stay in relationships 1 year longer then they should and I agree with you. I think the thought of starting over for some people is exhausting and scary and therefore they settle for someone. there is only so much one can do before it's time to finally call it quits. if you don't learn the lesson when it is presented to you, it will keep on happening until you do. this applies well to relationships.

i also don't think being single is the thing to be. being happy is. and sometimes that is with someone or alone.

7:26 PM

Blogger Carrie said...

I absolutely agree 100%...speaking from experience of course. Once the milk has gone sour, you don't put it back in the fridge.

9:09 PM

Blogger Neel said...

Lorena, I agree with you about being happy.

Mitzzee, very well put.

10:34 PM

Blogger Barbara said...

I was in a relationship that had the wildest most mind-blowing sex I have ever had and also in a relationship where we really connected on a spiritual level. Guess which one I think about the most???? The sex guy. We had sessions that lasted for 7 -8 hours that left us exhausted and dehydrated and it was so much fun! My point. Well I don't have one. Just sure had fun with that dude.
OK seriously. Every relationship has strong and weak points. The sex guy and I did not connect at all in any other area and the spiritual guy was the shits in bed. (Missionary position and me thinking finish already!) Relationships work or they don't. Counselling can work if you both want to save the relationship. And then you have to have a lot more than just great sex or a great spiritual connection.

10:53 PM

Blogger cedia said...

I read one of Angelina's comments about marriage..

Jolie: I think for everybody, especially for every woman, we've had a moment where you're lying in bed and you're thinking about the person next to you, and you think, "You have no idea who I am.”

Jolie: There was something missing ... that we didn't have the same value for how we wanted to live our lives, what we wanted to do with our lives — if we wanted to be of use to others, in what ways. We didn't have the same goals. And that, at the end of the day, as much as you can have fun with them, you can have great sex with somebody, you can have all that stuff, [but] if you don't wake up with a common purpose and a dream to live a similar legacy, then it's not going to work. It didn't for me.

No one ever told me that love changes in time.. I used to think love was forever, in the same shape/form it was recognized...
Sadly, things change, even with love.

11:20 PM

Blogger transience said...

one word, neel. amen.

1:37 AM

Blogger mermaid said...

Loneliness is one of the coldest teachers. You either look for the nearest warm body that fits, or shiver in the chill, letting it cut into you to find the last bit of truth that will save you.

If you are still single because of the latter reason, may you find your truth before you discover one with a partner. The two are very different, and the tangled web of relationships sometimes mistakes one for the other.

9:42 AM

Blogger Neel said...

Barbara, I am very fortunate that in all my long term relationhips I have had good lovers. Looking back, I realize that some of the reason those relatiohships didn't work out was my fault, I was young and not ready.

Cedia (Angelina), That is true, people change, life changes, but if you really love someone, you always love that person. One of the points I was trying to make, is that I wanted to be totally sure that I was ready and willing to spend the rest of my life with the person I decided to commit to and I dont think I have met that person yet. However, I think our wants, needs, and hopes change as we get older as well.

Transience, thank you.

Mermaid, you have once again made a very strong point with your sheer eloquence, but there are different types of single people too. There are those who are searching for something that is just out of their reach, these will never be satisfied. As far as those who are lonely, you are quite right, they are just looking for a warm body.

10:55 AM

Blogger stella said...

neel >> you're full of sage-like wisdom and advice. it's always a nice visit. as for long term relationships, i'm pretty short-term. a year and a half is my record-breaker, but it's always interesting to hear what it's like on the other end.

1:06 PM

Blogger boabhan sith said...

My husband and I have also gone through some hard times.

The one thing I can't just throw away and why we both work at this is not only the love factor, but I trust him more than I have ever trusted. He knows it and he knows just how much that means.

love, trust, communication

They're supposed to be the keys to a good relationship. I honestly believe it too.

3:59 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

i am not in my form lately.

4:26 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

pollen and heartbreak makes me logy.

4:27 PM

Blogger Neel said...

Stella, I think that is one of the most wonderful compliments I have ever had, thank you!

Dont worry about the length of your relationships, in this country we seem to often opt for quantity over quality. You will soon find your prince, and when you do you will know.

5:24 PM

Blogger Neel said...

boabhan sith, it sounds like you understand each other and that is extremely important in a lasting relationship. Yes, love, trust and communication are all key. Remember to put them to use when you are going through the "hard times."

Ms. Laughs, so sorry to hear that you are not yourself. I understand you are having some tough times, but you will make it through them. I have also been getting a solid beating from pollen, in fact I'm up against the ropes!

5:28 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

it's more the pollen.

the heartbreak i can handle. it's nothing i haven't had before.. i've had it 100 fold in fact. part of my soul died the last time.

5:31 PM

Blogger J said...

hmmm... so r u single right now? :-p

1:51 AM

Blogger mermaid said...

Neel, I never thought of it that way. I guess loneliness is not the only thing that drives us to fill an empty space. What is the something just out of reach?

9:12 AM

Blogger Neel said...

Ms. Laughs, You will get that part of your soul back, and when you are ready, your soul will grow. These feelings will pass and you will feel better and stronger, but you will have to work at it. I know you can do it.

J, that's sort of a long story, but I guess I am, more or less.

Mermaid, Something just out of reach is a metaphor for something that is not attainable. Some people have it all yet they are never quite satisfied. This often happens to celebrities, and there is even a syndrome named after it; it's called Paradise Syndrome. I may write more on this subject in the near future, I could go on for a while, but I will leave it here for now.

12:09 PM

Blogger mermaid said...

No need to go on...I think I have it sometimes...

2:15 PM

Blogger Natasha said...

god i could go on and on about relationships. they suck! just kidding.

i think i am always looking for something that is "just out of reach" ha!

1:37 AM

Blogger gulnaz said...

how does one ever make sure that this will last? some ppl give their best to make it work and some give up sooner.
i agree its better to make sure that it will last but how does one do that?

2:58 AM

Blogger venus said...

quite an interesting post Neel!
relationship, is very complex yet very simple. If you can love a person so that you accept her just the way she is without expectations, it blooms. but we, in most cases, including me, are not that mature to accept them. I have also seen many cases of such insecurities. Psychologist call it the fear of commitment. There is no relationship like 100% successful one dreams of. Because in a relationship, there is another person involved with his/her own mind and thoughts, which not you. That is why you can never match on 100% points with her/him.
The success of relationship comes from tolerance. I was listening to news on radio yesterday when i was driving home where they mentioned about a couple who has the longest marriage anyone can have in this world, 80 years! And when they asked the guy in this longest marriage about the secret of their lasting marriage till death parts, he replied: "I learnt to say 'yes dear' very early."
This does not mean that only one person in the relationship should be tolerant, it has to be from both the sides. and I am sure the lady in this relationship also must be saying "yes dear" a lot often.

8:47 AM

Blogger Karen said...

I have only been Married once - If this goes down the pan I wont be giving it a second shot - I don't mean I wont have a relationship again - I just wont make the promises - Sad really :-(

11:09 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

*sigh* write something new.

11:36 AM

Blogger cedia said...

Hey.. I've been away a bit.. just taking a break.

I hope you're doing fine. Take care.

8:07 PM

Blogger Neel said...

Venus, I am not sure if you meant to say without conditions. I would have to say I would have expectations of my mate, however my love would be unconditional. For example, if the children got out of school at 3:00 and my wife had said she was picking them up, I would expect her to do so rather than go shopping with her friends. I agree with you about comprimise in the relationship, but that was not what this post was about. I feel not only should it be shared equally, but there will be times when it takes work to get through the "tough spots"

I was trying to say, if you feel that the relationship is doomed you should not perpetuate the problem. Thank you very much for your post, you make some excellent points.

12:07 PM

Blogger Neel said...

Karen, I love your new photo! Dont worry about giving it a "second shot", just work through this one, I am sure you will be very happy.

Ms. Laughs, sorry I have been quite busy.

Cedia, glad to have you back. I am doing quite well, I hope you are as well.

12:10 PM


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