Thursday, July 07, 2011

Two Types of Relationships

I think I can categorize the types of relationships I have been in into two categories:
The first is relationships where I was the one in love.  The second is relationships where I enjoyed having the attention of someone who was in love. 
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. 
I like being in love.  It feels good and is inspiring, my creativity exploding into artwork, letters, and projects; however, even though I am in love, I've never taken the vow to be with that person wherever they go.  I tend to follow my own heart of adventure rather than theirs.  Maybe being in love with my own dreams is my priority rather than following a person I'm in love with.
I enjoy having the attention of someone who likes me.  It feels good to be liked, makes the missing holes in my self-esteem feel a little less empty.  The problem with these types of relationships is I start disliking the person and somehow have less of a tolerance for their imperfections.
There is a third category that is quite common in China, relationships based on responsibility. 
In all of my relationships as they become more serious, as the weeks turn into years, my mind does start making lists about compatibility but my relationships are never about responsibility. 
Compatibility?  Like do we challenge each other with our topics of conversation, do we learn from each other, do we spend money the same way, do we handle conflict in a positive way. 
Responsibility?  My students often debate whether or not they should marry for love or for responsibility.  They come to the conclusion that responsibility is the most important.  There is a responsibility toward their parents, having their parents' approval and making their parents happy with grandchildren.  For women there is a responsibility to choose someone who will provide a good standard of living so that their future children can have an easy life.  A woman searches for a partner with a good job and an already purchased apartment.  For a man, he has the responsibility to have a good job and an apartment before searching for a wife. 
Two people find each other, look at the stats and boom are married after knowing each other anywhere from 2 months to a year.  The people I know who are married got married fast once they determined it was a good responsible match and approved by their parents.  They probably will never get divorced because responsibility is the most important even if their mate is cheating on them.  It is better and more responsible to be married than single in the eyes of many Chinese women.
A relationship based on responsibility, on children, on having an apartment, and a good job?  I don't need these things in a relationship.  I depend on myself for my standard of living and lifestyle.  I have the freedom and education not to be dependent on a mate.  I am lucky.
If I had to choose which category of relationship I would prefer?  I think it be great to have a partner whom I am in love with and who likes me back.  An added bonus would be that we are compatible in the things we value.

1 comment:

Z said...

Sooner or later, all stories end.