Someone brought up the term relationship this weekend, ferreting around for a definition in this new day and age where there are no real rules or roles like there used to be. I’ve qualified my own ‘thing’ as a relationship, and then wondered if that was truly an accurate representation. As I often do with words that we take for granted, I went back to the good old dictionary to revisit the term and found Merriam-Webster classifies relationship as a multitude of things:
Thankfully, I’m not kin to the fella 🙂 Within the above parameters, I have a relationship. Granted, one separated physically by thousands of miles, lacking daily interaction, and when we do interact, it’s via electronic mediums. Does that lessen the connection? It can I think. However, I believe it can also deepen the connection, depending on the two people. There is the freedom to be you, and anyone who truly knows me, understands that to read what I write is to know me. I feel many people communicate better via writing; particularly introverts. This relationship is fairly new, so I’ll suspend judgement on it at this time since we’re in stasis mode while he is temporarily rather off grid accomplishing some life goals in place long before we connected.
The reality is that long-term commitment takes guts and tenacity. It sometimes means giving until it hurts. My particular religious framework puts a marital commitment in the realm of vow-making before the Creator. The last time I made that commitment, I was deadly serious; failing to honor a vow made before the Creator is nothing to trifle over in my world. I knew, no matter what, that I was married until one of us died. Please understand, I am not condoning abusive or dangerous relationships; but even if I had been in that, I would have had to remain married even if I did not live with my husband. That is the vow that I undertook. To marry again would require that same kind of commitment from me. The one benefit that I do have, is that marriage is not required. There is no commandment to be married. But if more people eschewed the current cultural representation of ‘love’ and looked within themselves to develop their own meaning, perhaps there would be longer, love-filled marriages. But hey, I am an idealist 🙂
So when you read these words, take a look at your partner and bring them into focus. Take a moment to recall what attracted you to him or her. Put down the book, or the remote control, or the laptop, or the iPhone and give them ten minutes of undivided, unprovoked love without any expectation of reciprocal expression. Compliment them. Hug them. Offer to help them with a chore. Take an interest in something that interests them. You just might be surprised 🙂
Barbara de Angelis