I was talking with a friend the other day about relationships and the compromise that comes along with them, and my friend said that relationships are complicated. I told them that they’re only complicated because we make them harder than they really need to be. I had just come to a realization and I feel my purpose is to add to the quality of life of those that I care about.
We make interpersonal–especially romantic relationships–complicated because we are still individuals. We all have wants and needs. Some of them get met and others fall to the wayside. In this, we find out what we can and cannot live without. What doesn’t get met eventually will no longer be missed, or there is a beaming light being shone on something that needs to be addressed. The best thing to do is communicate with others. If they want to rectify accordingly, that’s great. If they don’t, then it might be time to move on.
Relationships aren’t complicated, we’re just selfish. We want what we want, how we want it, when we want it, and that’s pretty much it. No matter how much we love our significant other or spouse, they are just a part of us—an extension. We attracted them because they had something in common with us and it pleased our ego. In time, we found out that there were differences and made a choice to continue to grow together. Even then, people grow up and grow apart.
Then something was said about having it all. and how that idea of our perfect match winds up being many of our downfall these days. Why? Because we always want it all. That’s what father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud’s theory on id, ego, and superego was based around. Having it all is simply a pleasure principle. We like and want to do the things that are solely appeasing to us. The id is the part of the mind in which innate instinctive impulses and primary processes are manifest. The ego’s job is to meet one’s desires. The superego is the part of us that makes decisions based on morality. Maintaining all three is how we as people operate and virtually make simple things complicated. This is because we all have different experiences that dictate our own unique worldview.
Typically, the construct of having it all is based around maintaining career, health, finances, etc. However, usually the phrase is based within the context of a relationship. While working and maintain some sense of personal wellness is all things one control on their own, relationships are a two person sport. We’re social creatures who value companionship and intimacy. Some of us are too busy and the ones we care for don’t understand, we don’t have the time because we just don’t, too afraid because of the past, in long distance relationships for extended periods of time, and I’m sure we can all think of a plethora more reasons.
In 2016, I think we want to have it all because we can. We know that the world is much larger than the places we frequent and it is literally at our fingertips. There are over seven billion people on earth, so the laws of average say that there are millions of people that are just like us who value the same things that we do and want exactly what we want. Everyone thinks that they are a unicorn and will simply hold out until we find that other unicorn. Years ago, people were more willing to settle and accept each other’s differences because we had to. That’s not the case anymore. I know because I have done this myself.
Sometimes, we set the bar too high. We lucked out with one person who had all of the right things, but the timing was bad. So we want to chase that high. We know that what we’re looking for exists, so either that person who was right with the bad timing will come around or we will meet another who is an improved version of what we like.
That one person is a difficult thing to find. I am a firm believer that if you want the right kind of relationship you have to work on it and yourself like you do your career goals. Even then, one person is the dream. You can be a great catch and get all the attention, but that attention just simply isn’t from the one. It happens.
The best thing that we all can do is just be mindful. True self-awareness is very rare. What are the things that we can and cannot live without? What are those three things that we value the most? Things tend to fall a little more into place when we relinquish control. When it’s all said and done, the desire to control outcomes is why we make relationships more complicated than they need to be.