Monday, March 4, 2013

But Enough About You

So many relationships sour because people insist on being understood.  All the time.  Being understood is not the same thing as being loved, yet people often say, "If you really loved me you would understand me, you would  know what it's like to be me."  Mostly, this is adolescent fantasy; the dream of meeting a person who will love you and totally know you. A lover and  an idealized parent; a person who cares more about your happiness than their own, who is thrilled by, interested in and caters to your ever changing moods and inner thoughts.

As an adult you revisit some of these feelings when you fall in love, that blissful time of total union.  But time demonstrates that, though a couple, you are also individuals and that, while united in many ways, you also live individual lives.  You may love your mate with all your heart but you don't really want to know (or worse, have to guess) their every little thought and worry.  You begin to resent a partner who demands that you pay attention to her/his needs and moods.  Who demands that their inner life be as important, or more important, than your own.  Such tiffs and fights over this egocentric idea.  Many good times ruined because you think being understood is an essential ingredient for happiness.  I put it behind kindness, generosity and humor. No understanding is not, of course, a good thing.  I'm talking about degree in a culture that encourages a long adolescence.  You can dance, make love, raise children, share fun and sorrow and know a person through sharing.  You can also think about yourself so much that you miss life and who you might be in real time.


MtC said...

Surely, not enough about ME!

Bridget said...

No, for you that would be not enough.

Anonymous said...

I like the phrase "a culture that encourages a long adolescence." I watched a Dickens' novel last night on Masterpiece Theatre, "Little Dorrit" and there was much biting of lips to restrain emotion and put kindness and generosity first.

Off to bite some lips

Mine I mean

Guess this had better be anonymous now!

Bridget said...

Is that the same thing as bite your tongue. Both sound painful but it's a very useful skill to learn.

Thanks Anonymous