read an article yesterday (that’s a response to a response to another article) that’s basically advice to girls about getting involved with boys. the article i read was by a boy. but, to be fair, from my observations of life, i think this advice is great all around. what he basically said was:
“if you don’t already fit into his life and share his worldview, don’t do it.”
a lot of people thought he was suggesting the girl just reshape herself. and others were cranky because we all know relationships involve compromise.
he clarified in comments that, no, he wasn’t suggesting people change. in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. that someone is fun and makes your loins go tingly and a good person or whatever doesn’t mean you’re a good fit. because relationships are more than that. and trying to force your lives to fit, trying to force things to work out, is more likely to lead to woe.
on the other hand, he acknowledges that, yes, every relationship requires compromises. but if you don’t start out fitting, you may be making the wrong ones.
a starry-eyed younger me would trumpet that true love should be followed and you ought to work hard and blah blah blah. and i do believe that relationships of the long-term sort will involve work.
but i also agree with this boy. if i meet you and you are super cool and our lives don’t mesh, if i have to change my schedule, neglect the pursuits i would otherwise love, look to others to fill roles i’d expect a partner to fill, consider whether i could live without getting the things i’d always hoped my future would be….if i wasn’t meshing with your job, your friends, your family that mattered, your life dreams, your needs…..and if you weren’t meshing with all that about me….i’d think twice. no matter how cool.
because i have seen the result of people who have to work from the start, to get accustomed to getting less than or other than they want, who then spend months or years (or lives, even) doing that. and it sucks. it does. i’m sorry. this includes some couples i love. but no matter how much i love them, i look and i think:
if one of you had had the honesty and courage to let go, you could have made four lives better: yours, theirs, the person who’d be the nicer fit for your life, and the person who’d be the nicer fit for theirs.
if you’re really mad for them, stick around a while as a friend. see how things evolve. maybe you’ll at least get a good friend out of the deal. maybe you will, as i have done a time or two, wake up one morning and realise that you’re glad you never had a relationship with that person or that you ended the relationship (in my case, it’s relationships that ended and i’m happy because i see what is making them happy in life now and know that wouldn’t have made me happy).
the rest the advice in the articles was all stuff i’d heard before, which is why i’m not mentioning it. but this one, though it seems like common sense to me, seemed to be the most alien to other people responding. which made me go ponder-y. and, apparently, need to verbalise.