1. On Failure. What does love mean to you? What constitutes a failed relationship? What about a successful one? Did you ever think of yourself as a failure because a relationship came to an end?
Love, to me, is an emotion as complicated, as much as simple it is or rather it should be. I read somewhere that ‘you like a person because of, but you love someone inspite of’. My views on love have changed over the years. Honestly, it is a little difficult for me to put them in words.
Having been in one, a failed relationship for me is where you lose sight of who you really are and tend to become someone just for the sake of the other person. For me, a relationship of love between two people should never destroy their individuality in any way. Compromises, adjustments, understanding are necessary but only to the level where it is required as a solution to a problem. Compromising one’s nature for the sake of other will eventually lead to heart aches and heart breaks.
A successful relationship is where both parties are content with who they are when they are with the person they love. Sounds cheesy and rather imaginary, but its achievable, at least I wish it, from what I have seen from the successful relationships.
There was a time when I thought that I was a failure as a person because my relationship of almost 12 years ended very badly with both parties not able to face each other without hostility. That was because of the fact that I was emotionally weak and socially awkward and the other person took advantage of that and engrained the thought that I just wasn’t capable enough for anyone at all. I also realized that I (de)valued myself based on the views of this one person when everyone else thought otherwise. I realized ‘You are your best friend and your worst enemy’. No one is perfect and we just need to accept who we are for ourselves and if possible either correct or at least work around our flaws.
2. On Being Flawed. Are you more comfortable on your own or in a relationship? Do you think there is something wrong with people who cannot or would not sustain long-term relationships?
I have ever been in only one relationship in my life other than my friends and family and I was comfortable with that person for some time but I am much more comfortable on my own now.
I don’t know if there is something wrong with people who cannot sustain a long term relationship. There are various factors to it, like the kind of partner you get, the upbringing, your beliefs, your insecurities etc.
3. On Eros. Do you require a romantic relationship to feel fulfilled?
Definitely No. At least for the past 5-6 years when I have been by myself, I feel much content and happier than I had been all those 12 years, but then that might be due to bad company J
4. On Soul-mates. Do you believe that there is a soul-mate for everyone out there? Do you ever feel that you are only half of the equation, and will be ‘lacking’ something until you find someone to share your everyday life with?
I believe in partnership and companionship and I dream of soul mates. And I don’t expect my dreams to come true. I do feel the need to have someone (more so in recent times and especially when I hit those lonely times when I am alone) in my life to share but then that feeling doesn’t last long. I am also equally comfortable being alone for most of the time. In short, I am sort of confused J and am still on the lookout for an answer for myself.
5. On Self-Love. Do you think that to be loved by others you have to love yourself? What does self-love mean to you? To love, can it sometimes mean letting go?
Yes, I do believe that we need to love ourselves first and foremost and by self-love I mean to accept for the person you believe you are with all the faults and positives. We aren’t made to be perfect and we will always fall short of expectations in another person’s eyes. But that difference is what (dis)attracts others. Each one is a unique personality and have their own story to tell. Unless we accept ourselves, it will not be easy to accept or understand someone else.
Letting go? Hmmm… I am not sure if it would be love, but it would be wise, if in case things don’t seem to work. At least it would ensure that you don’t end up with a bad feeling. Having said that, letting go is not a wise decision if used as an escape mechanism when things get tough or just to ensure that if it is worth it then it will come back to us. Not all of us get second chances and it wouldn’t be wise to let go and regret later. Better fight for it and lose the battle.
6. On Fulfilment. Can we only find fulfilment in others, or is it possible to be happy and find contentment in our other accomplishments, whatever our relationship status?
According to me, fulfillment is an individual feeling. You can have the best partner you might ever get, but unless you feel content or satisfied with your life, it wouldn’t help. I strongly believe that I am solely responsible for my happiness and contentment and trust me , that belief kept me sane during my worst days in the relationship , not to mention it did drive the other person mad because they couldn’t get me depressed or beaten up (emotionally, so they retorted to do it physically)
7. On Interpersonal Skills. Are people in relationships simply better at ‘people skills’ than those who are not?
I don’t think so. People skills are more about individual traits than relationship skills. People with almost nil people skills have had great relationships. You just need to find the right partner.
8. On Project R. Do you think this a worthwhile project? In what way, if at all, did this project help you think through the question of “relationships”? Feel free to add here any other thoughts you may have on the subject that was not covered by the above questions.
It is definitely worthwhile. First because it let me let out some steam and also made me think about my thoughts on relationships, which I tend to keep to myself and not let it out unless and otherwise asked (just like this) I am not sure if my questions would help your friend in anyway, but I sure hope you are able to find your answers from the entries that you get. And as usual, I get to learn something from it too.
Dear KG, thank you for your contribution to Project R. It pulled at my heartstrings.
Thank you for the opportunity Vic…
My pleasure, KG, and your prompt reply also speeded up the hyperlink addition which I have been trying to add for the last half hour 🙂 so thank you!
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impressed at the honesty of Project R…
I too am impressed and deeply touched by how deeply all participants have delved, and by the honesty and generosity with which they share their personal insight.
Very moving and honest replies. Lots here to think about – thank you for sharing.
Thanks for the read.
A lot of food for thought here. All good! 🙂
For me too. Learnt a lot from this project already.
KG, your honesty, vulnerability and courage are remarkable. Healing from a relationship like this one takes lots of time. Sounds like you are being quite thoughtful about your own recovery, and learning some valuable lessons about yourself in the process. None of us deserve to be abused in any way, which is why it’s so important to have that firm foundation and knowledge of who we are before we enter a relationship. I pray that you are not only comfortable, but thriving on your own.
Thank you Susan. It did take almost 3-4 years to let go but I am not in a place where I am still not sure of what I want, but at least I know what I don’t want. And that is a start for me 🙂
I mean to say “I am in a place”
A very moving contribution by KG.
Such an interesting topic to explore, with love such a ‘fuzzy’ concept. Something that has constantly altered the outlook of my strongest ‘love’ relationships with husband, family, friends etc has been my own self-love. It is always shifting too, with living circumstances (parenting, new places, work and health). Different seasons, like lessons.
I loved your comparison of love with different seasons. I feel the same way. Thank you for your comment.
It shows depth coming from someone who has been in a relationship for so long, especially one that was tainted. I hope you do find the love that is deserving.
Beautifully put, GFixated. I agree wholeheartedly and my hopes to yours.
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