This afternoon I spent a few hours with a Bipolar Comrade in Arms. For someone all of 21 he has a great handle on life. Sure, he has all the highs and lows of most semi-lunatics, and the fear, anger, and frustration that go along with it all, but he has a warm fuzzy center that is wise beyond his years.
After the bonding over our respective serotonin swirls, and like most gay men having chitchat, the conversation wound its way to relationships. What struck me as profound was that this young man knows what the most important thing in any relationship is. Now when you ask most people they will say chemistry, compatibility, or list various other traits they wish to find. The biggie I hear most often is PASSION! He said communication. To which of course I agreed. The most important characteristic of any relationship is communication. The ability for two people to try to understand each other through open dialogue is the cornerstone of any relationship.
We then began a discussion about how movies, songs, books, and other forms of entertainment down through the ages have really screwed up what people think relationships are. DRAMA!! All of the above have created basket case drama queens of most people when it comes to love. Most people’s ideas of what a relationship is come from movies. Case in point Jerry McGuire.
Oh how the masses swooned to the line, “You complete me.” What a bunch of rubbish. If you need to be completed by another person, you will never be whole. Only when we are comfortable within our own “aloneness” can we truly appreciate the togetherness. If you are running to the arms of another person to escape your own feelings of isolation and loneliness you will always live in fear of losing that person. You are not in the relationship because you want to enjoy the person you are there because you cannot be with yourself.
I have often said I want a lover who has 101 other options but has chosen to be with me. Not because they NEED me but because they want to enjoy me as much as I want to enjoy them.
The other thing we talked about is that movies and other entertainment have somehow made people believe that love is supposed to hurt. That love and pain are somehow caught in a twisted dance of fate. Anger and fighting are okay to these people. Word up, LOVE DOESN"T HURT!
I was recently dating (“dating” for lack of a better word) a guy who thought yelling and screaming and fighting were part of what made relationships passionate. Again someone misled by media. I use to fight and argue and get major pissed off, scream, and shout. But not anymore. It is destructive and anti-communication. When anger exists, love has taken a vacation. It is impossible to be angry and love at the same time. They are mutually exclusive. This does not mean a relationship will be without its tense times and misunderstanding that lead to hurt feelings. However, anger, which of course can only end in lashing out, is a destructive force that negates love. I know! I know up close and personal. I’ve tried, it don’t work.
Conflict in any relationship is an invitation to greater intimacy. An intimacy of vulnerability and trust where you know you will be treated with care and respect regardless of how difficult the situation. Sure, we will all lose our cool from time to time. As I like to say, anger is the face your heart puts on to keep people from seeing it cry. Anger is pain thrown outwards instead of inwards. The pain can be so hard that to acknowledge it would be too much.
I think the person I was “dating” actually thought less of our “relationship” because I did not fight with him. I was not showing passion. All the pop songs have anger and fighting, all the books have anger and fighting, all the movies have anger and fighting, and dare I say it, most of our homes when we were growing up had anger and fighting. The wrong behaviour is modeled and we blindly accept it as the way it should be. That is screwed up passion.
I refuse to fight in any of my relationships anymore be it family, friend, or lover. It hurts and is a total waste of time and emotional energy. I would rather hold someone and cry then be the person who screamed and yelled and made them cry. I’ve tried that, it sucks.
So if you are dating a person and his idea of romantic is Marlon Brando screaming Stella!!!!! Or good ole Jerry McGuire all teary-eyed saying, “You complete me.” You can bet you are about to get involved with a drama queen. I suggest you watch Chariots of Fire so you can learn to RUN! FAST!