Saturday, June 5, 2010
Relationships, particularly long distance relationship, and other circumstances in life have its own share of pros and cons. I could say that this topic is my favorite; because I have enough experience to discuss a very sensitive issue like this one. And yes, I have been to a long distance relationship and I know how it feels like to have someone and not have him/her at all.
This is not to discourage or dissuade people who are in a long distance relationship; but as a writer it is my responsibility and commitment to present the most truthful and honest information in order to clearly explain this complicated situation that revolves around trust, security, honesty, self-growth and independence which are somehow influenced by religion, sociopsychological factors and evolutionary principles.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU REACT.
(This is a WOMAN’S POINT OF VIEW; and therefore I see things in a FEMALE PERSPECTIVE. All of the examples below are true stories. However, names have been changed and codenames have been used in order to protect the identities of the subjects.)
LACK OF RESTRICTIONS: As modern and dynamic women, we prefer to do things on our own and tend to seek autonomy within ourselves; be it in the domain of decision-making or career-pathing. Sometimes, we feel suffocated and oppressed when people keep telling us what to do. Personally, I don’t like being controlled or manipulated by other people. I feel harassed when someone is giving me too much unsolicited advices and treating me like a child. I mean, hello, I’m 22 years old and big enough to see things transparently; figure out what is right or wrong, make reasonable judgment, decide rationally and logically, anticipate the consequences in every decision that I make and clean up my own mess. I hate it when someone tries to live his life through me.
I had a NONCHALANT boyfriend who never once offered to intercede in my behalf and yet caused a big interference in my life. Green-eyed Monster* was not very understanding and supportive. He got really frustrated when I decided to continue engineering instead of going to medical school. He tried to coerce me to quit Engineering and study Medicine because he really wanted me to become a brain surgeon. IT WAS WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS BEST FOR ME. He didn’t even consider my feelings. He thought I was no longer a good fit for him just because his dream of marrying a brain surgeon is DEAD. His love for me suddenly lessened; he turned into an irresponsible, unconcerned boyfriend and our communication slowly waned. Not only he interfered with my decisions, he also managed to control me. He CHANGED me into a TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSON. That monster* TRANSFORMED me into something “PERFECT” in his eyes. I had to look good all the time; maintain a certain weight and keep my hair long and beautiful. I WAS TREATED LIKE A DOLL. AND I WASN’T HAPPY WITH THAT. I’m not saying that ALL BOYFRIENDS are manipulative, cunning or insincere. But MOST MEN nowadays are like that. Some are just playing games and using their RELATIONSHIPS to have free passes to sleep with a girl or gain sexual favors. Sorry girls, don’t even bother to use your NICE CARD to get the man of your dreams because the truth is – MEN HAVE NO CONCEPT OF INNER BEAUTY. Being nice or having a good personality is just a big bonus; ATTRACTION always COMES FIRST. A sweet personality is overshadowed with what is seen on the outside.
Basically, some people opt to be in OPEN RELATIONSHIPS than DATING EXCLUSIVELY or GETTING MARRIED because they still want to cling on to their freedom for as long as they possibly can. Dating someone exclusively or getting married means they’d have less time for themselves and there’d be someone who gets in their way. For that reason, they mistakenly see their partner as a huge encumbrance; and therefore, feel alarmed and distressed because any time of the day, their freedom will diminish in a certain degree where they feel smothered and choked. With this “commitment phobia”, we choose not to let the “nice” people in by trying to make excuses like they’re either not good enough for us or we’re not good enough for them and foresee these people as controlling and manipulative without even giving them the chance to prove otherwise. As a result, we push that sincere person away so we don’t have to settle down. Instead, we choose to pursue someone who doesn’t want us that much and can’t be there for us ALL THE TIME because they are the ones who won’t make us feel suffocated.
HAVING A GOOD EXCUSE FOR CHEATING OR BEING UNFAITHFUL: As a decent and honest woman, I strongly despise people who cheat on their partners. CHEATING IS NEVER OKAY. I’m not saying that long distance relationship warrants a man or a woman a privilege to cheat or be unfaithful to his or her partner. Let’s put it this way. People nowadays, especially MEN mastered the ART OF MAKING EXCUSES. And sometimes, they still try to repudiate or negate your allegations even if you have bestowed to them all the evidences and attestations for their wrongdoings. Only weak and naïve women give in to these bullshits and mendacities. Generally, you would hear this kind of excuse from a CASSANOVA: I AM A MAN. I HAVE NEEDS AS A MAN. I AM ONLY HUMAN. I COMMIT MISTAKES. But if we put things in REVERSE and women are the ones cheating on their boyfriends or husbands, 99.69% of this condemnatory society will instantaneously denounce them. People easily find mistakes on others; but fail to see their own lapses. In a religious and conservative country like Philippines, the teachings of the church and the norms of morality are strictly followed. So we came to realization that IT’S OKAY FOR MEN TO CHEAT AND IT’S IMMORAL FOR WOMEN TO SWINDLE. It may seem unfair for us women but I guess that’s just how things are supposed to be.
As human beings, we have emotional and physical needs. And sometimes we do every thing we can to sustain that needs; without considering the feelings of the people around us. But that’s not the only reason why a person cheats. At times, we can’t be too judgmental to a person who became unfaithful to his/her partner. First of all, we don’t know their history. I have a friend who cheated on his girlfriend. I thought Tom* was heartless for doing so. I hated him for treating his cute, sweet and kind girlfriend like shit. Then I found out that this girl has been cheating with his best friend for years. I felt sorry for him and finally understood why he undoubtedly put an end to his 4-year relationship with her.
Second, the behavior of a person is influenced by his environment and the people around him. For example, a person with DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER shows an excessive need to be taken care of or depend upon others. Persons with this disorder are typically submissive and display clinging behavior toward those from whom they fear being separated. And once a person with this disorder felt deserted, they tend to go on self-pity and feel depressed; and therefore, find someone who can make them feel loved or cared about.
Third, women and men are made differently. Women are supposed to love by heart and men would only go after his desires to fulfill his quest in this world – and that is to spread their seeds. Women, on the other hand, are nesting animals. As long as they’re happy with the man they are with and could provide for them; they have a very little tendency to wander unlike men who has unlimited needs and wants. But if we were to follow the principles of evolution, men are inscrutably on the right track.
Fourth, in some cultures and religion, polygamy is believed to be the solution for marital infidelity. I opposed this principle as a CHRISTIAN because for me, a person who is married should remain faithful to his/her husband/wife. But if we are going to analyze it, no law can stop people from committing adultery. One good example is former US president Z, who had an 8-year affair with an artist. What do you think Mrs. Z felt upon knowing that her husband has been cheating on her? Does the law against polygamy really eradicate this mortal sin? It didn’t. She couldn’t bring home the copy of the law and spank it at her husband’s face. It won’t make her feel better in any way. What about those women who get infected with sexually transmitted disease? Can they cut the copy of the law into pieces, boil them with water and drink it as medicine to cure AIDS? And what about those illegitimate children who have been thrown away into orphanages because they couldn’t have a REAL FAMILY? Can this law give them shelter? I’m not saying that legalizing polygamy could resolve all these issues; but if we are going to think logically, it’s better to allow the husband to have a second wife; at least the first wife would know where her husband is in the middle of the night and that would guarantee that her husband is not sleeping with a prostitute and bringing diseases at home. It could also give the second wife the right to be treated with respect; not just a TEMPORARY SEXUAL OBJECT. The point here is, we have to see things as a whole; we must go after what is beneficial to the majority not only to the few.
LETTING GO IS EASIER: I’m not saying that letting go and moving on is easy; but perhaps putting an end to a long distance relationship is way easier than breaking up with someone you’ve spent most time of the day with. I know how painful a break up could be; but in a long distance relationship, there are lesser memories to cherish; reduced amount of moments to reminisce because most of the time of your relationship you’ve been far from each other. So it wasn’t a REAL RELATIONSHIP after all. Sometimes, it is the memories that make it harder for a person to let go of someone; but what memories could you treasure from a long distance relationship? Phone calls? Chat? Even if you’ve been calling or chatting with each other 24/7, these things don’t count as MOMENTS SHARED TOGETHER. I’m sorry to say this; but there’s no such thing as ONLINE RELATIONSHIP. Because at the end of the day, no matter how connected you feel with each other, you were just two STRANGERS who don’t know each other and trying to be on their BEST BEHAVIOR to cover up the INCOMPATIBILITIES AND DISCORDANCIES.
CAN’T BE TOGETHER: Since two people live far away from each other, they find it difficult to maintain their relationship for the simple reason that they don’t see each other everyday and they can’t be there for each on the toughest times of their lives. So instead of relying to our boyfriend/girlfriend, we tend to seek comfort from other people because no matter how much we want to be with them, THERE’S NO WAY. I have a friend who broke up with her boyfriend because they only get to see each other once a week. She broke up with him because he constantly complains that he can’t be with her everyday. I think it’s very selfish for him to do so; but the point is if two people break up for not seeing each other for a week, what more for couples who are into long distance relationship and only see each other once a year?
Distance is more serious than it looks. At first, you don’t see the complications of being so far away because you’re very much in love with each other but as time goes by, you’ll realize how difficult it is to be in this kind of relationship. I’m not saying that all long distance relationships fail. It still depends on the people involved. If two people are willing to sacrifice and fight for their love, someday they will find a way to be together.
HARD TO TRUST: I believe that the best relationship is achieved with great foundation of trust. Trust is gained through deeds; and you really have to work hard to have it and to keep it. Because once the trust is gone, relationship will be unstable regardless of how much you love each other. There will always be complaints, grievances and the like that will later on keep you away from each other. Love is not enough to keep a relationship going. It should be LOVE + RESPECT + TRUST.
I always had trust issues. There is one guy that I love but couldn’t give him my full trust; maybe because he’s living very far away from me. I must admit that we constantly fight because I never trust that he loves me. And that’s ONE THING I REGRET. But to tell you, I’m FULLY AWARE how much I love him and how much he means to me. I just don’t know how to make him feel secure. I’m a very impulsive person; with a very bad temper. I easily ask for a break up every time I’m upset or angry with him. I have been so selfish not to understand that I can’t be the ONLY PERSON in his life. Now, I finally lost him…
YOU CAN’T DEMAND FOR 100% TIME: Regardless of how much a person loves you, you can’t take 100% control of him. You may be number one in his life but you can’t be the only one. Relationships are different for everyone. It doesn’t mean that when you take someone as your world, he will do the same thing. He has his own life to live and you’re not the only person he needs to keep his life going. Like what Stubborn Guy* told me, he can’t make me his world when I’m so far away from him. Perhaps, he was right. I was very selfish to ask him to spend his day off sitting in front of his computer chatting and fighting with me. He obviously can’t do that. He just can’t stay at home and be with a girl he can do nothing with and stay away from anybody else. That’s so unfair. HE EVEN FORGOT THE WHOLE WORLD WITH ME. And I didn’t realize that HE HAS HIS OWN LIFE TO LIVE because I wanted him to be away from the world and miserable like me. But how was it our fault that we fell in love regardless of the fact that we can’t be together? How was it our fault that we were living miles away from each other and were born from different races and religion? I HATE THE TIME AND DISTANCE THAT SEPARATE US. The most painful part is, you know you love each other but for a thousand reasons why, YOU JUST CAN’T BE TOGETHER.
SIMPLE THINGS BECOME COMPLICATED: I believe that in order to sort out issues, the two parties involved should calm down and talk right away. There’s a saying that is very applicable to couples, “DON’T GO TO BED MAD. STAY UP AND FIGHT.” Small unresolved issues are like viruses infecting your system. You don’t usually pay attention to symptoms; thinking it’s just common cold or fever. You only begin to take things seriously once it became incurable and fatal. Often times, we turn a blind eye to small things thinking they’re too trivial and don’t need further discussions or clarifications. Sometimes, these "unimportant" issues turn into intractable ones through time. And I tell you based on experience, it is much harder to settle things when the damage is done. Talk to your boyfriend right away if you are bothered with something and try not to fight. This has been our problem and if I have one wish – that would be to turn back time and make things right. I learned my lessons. Don't commit the same mistakes as mine. Appreciate him and what you have. Just love him.
Posted by GODDESS AKASHA at 10:50 PM