08 Nov There’s no ‘I’ in ‘We’
Society generally looks down on single people, as if it is some kind of disease. Generally, you tend to be on the receiving end of comments like “Don’t worry, you’ll meet someone soon.” Or just the general “How come you haven’t got a Girlfriend/ Boyfriend?”
Having been single a fair amount (off and on) over the last decade, I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of thing quite often, which doesn’t really bother me that much, but I have also noticed another phenomenon the older I have become.
Whether it is because of some kind of cultural/ family pressure, or just that people really do want it more than anything, there seems to be an increased need or want to find “the one.” I think people are increasingly leaving no stone unturned in order to find that special person that they hope or believe is out there. The rise of dating websites, and the lack of stigma now attached to them has increased this, with people now able (if they have the energy!) to go on several dates a week, in the hope of meeting someone special.
It is an oft-quoted dictum, that it’s when you stop looking, that these things find you, and I think there is truth in that, as the more pressure you put on something, especially at an earlier stage, the harder it is for it to succeed. It also got me to thinking what makes an unsuccessful relationship. I say unsuccessful, as clearly I am not the best person to be talking about what makes a successful relationship. (I must interject here, without mentioning any names, that I would count some of my previous efforts as successful, at least for a time!)
If I analyse (which I overdo to most things!) what has made a relationship unsuccessful in the past, I think it comes down to one main thing. Ego. Either (probably often!) on my part, or (not as often!) on the other persons part.
Ego drives us to put ourselves before anything else. Therefore I expected the other person to fit what they wanted around what I wanted. If that meant going on holiday somewhere specific, living somewhere specific, or whatever, I resented having to “Change who I was” – which is a load of shite really, because clearly who I was, was a bit selfish and immature…
Even when I was single a year or so ago, having come out of a short but intense relationship a short time previously, I obviously desperately wanted to find something similarly intense, and would end up meeting people who I got on with really well, and then trying my hardest to shoehorn them into a big sweeping intense relationship, because it was what I wanted. Which unfortunately for me didn’t take into account what they wanted at all. Which is obviously no basis for starting anything, and was borne from my own ego and need, not a mutual connection.
Having been single for a while, you have the opportunity to meet new people, which is always a fascinating experience, and I have come across a very similar thing. When I see/ hear/ meet someone who really, really wants to meet someone special, it makes me realise (because I see my old reflection) that that is borne out of ego. Wanting desperately to meet someone special is actually the ultimate in selfishness, as you are not allowing that person to be themselves when you first interact. From the very first moment you are seeing them as fitting into your plan, what you want, without giving them the chance to be what they want. It will never be a “We” if one party goes into it based on what they want.
I think the only way to be open enough to allow something special to happen, is to have no need, and therefore not force it down a particular route, and let things evolve naturally, without ego.
Of course, that may be all bollocks and precisely the reason why I am still single, so do take all that with a pinch of salt…..