Sunday, March 05, 2006

Why it doesn't work out?

I think about this question after every relationship that goes down the drain.
And for each experience the answer would be different and ambiguous, so much so that I was resolute for a while that no 2 relationships are the same and thus nothing can be learned. I can avoid the previous mistakes but will most likely fall into new ones later. So all I could do was unwrap each candy bar I came across until Charlie finds the "golden ticket" or get exhausted and settle down with whatever I had.

But I realize now that I've been looking in all the wrong places. Finding what makes relationships fall apart is difficult, but finding what it takes to keep it alive is more straightforward!

I think I can narrow it down to 3 things, in no particular order:

1) Love. You have to love the person you are with. No, not duh. Love is a very grey term. Hate is a very clear and simple emotion. If I tell you I hate something, whether it's Indian food, humid weather or human vanity, you instantly understand how I feel. I don't like it. Simple. But love? We use that term so loosely these days it has no value anymore. Love can span a spectrum from casual preference to obsession. It can mask affection, admiration, longing, lust. You can love a friend, a brother, a car, a song, a pet, a partner, a country - each in a different way and with a different intensity. Hate is what you find objectionable. Love is so much more. So it's not enough to simply have love. It has to be the kind of selfless, "you-complete-me" kind of love.

2) Compatibility. Love does not cover this. You can be in love with someone you have very little in common with. You don't have to be identical but you must share something fundamental on the important levels. Namely morals, life pleasures and future outlook.

3) Circumstance. Which includes everything from your first introduction to where you're situated in your respective lives. Long-distance relationships fall under poor circumstance.

If you have these 3 things going for you, great. Your relationship will most likely survive most hiccups and you'll live happily ever after till death do you part yada yada yada.

But what if you don't? Well it depends on the couple of course but I think that if you're only missing one of these 3 elements then the relationship can probably be salvaged given your commitment to make it work. Circumstance is usually the easiest to adjust. Example: You love her and you get along great but she's a world away, you can try and move closer. But if you've only got one of these things going for you... you are fighting an uphill battle that will sap your will and give you nil. Part ways amicably and move on. Drop that life raft and abandon ship. You never know who you may meet on a life raft and life-or-death situations create instant bonding. But that's another discussion.

Phew. Take that Dr. Phill.


Blogger raf* said...

dear ramzi,

ayeaye, sir!

so ... you HATE indian food??? what's the matter with you!


ps: this is the moment where we drown a few at "de prague". soon, my friend, soon.

12:46 AM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger Eve said...

I remember somebody told me that not so long ago ;)

9:28 AM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger Jamal said...

i see raf* beat me to it.

i read "indian food" and now i'm drooling over the keyboard.

as for relationships, i think you have to take it on a case by case basis.

3:07 PM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger Fouad said...

Well ramzi, let me add one additional tier to your triad. I believe a certain degree of admiration is required, ie you have to look up to her to some extent. I don't if you can categorize that under love, but I feel it's slightly different...

Other than that, Dr.Phil should be looking out for some stiff competition :)

12:58 AM, March 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr Zi (as compared to Dr Phil)..
1 year ago (or maybe even a few months ago) i would have argued with you for hours that love is the only thing that matters, and that love can make the circumstances and overcome all compatibility issues..and all that i wonder if love even matters...what do you think? can two people be happy without the butterflies, the fireworks and the "zsa zsa zsu"?
an ex-"eternal romantic"

5:46 AM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger aroundtheclock24_7 said...


I totally agree with you, but you forgot one of the most important circumstances "RELIGION". How would a relationship from different religions survive in a society that does not accept the idea (taking into consideration that the three above reasons are available and even more than three)?

Goodluck in finding an answer ;)

6:17 AM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Abu Takla said...

Couldn't agree more R, bull's eye.
Around the clock, I think this falls under category number 3: circumstances. Got two going for you... as the Dr. (Ramzi) said, you can work it out still.


8:49 AM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Ramzi said...

Wow... this post was more of a rant, but I guess it hit a sweet spot somewhere.

My aversion to Indian food goes back to being forced to eat spice-laced school lunches. The vitriol runs deep.
Prague awaits my friend...

Yeah, the rant bubble has taken time to surface.

Exceptions prove the rule.

Admiration is part of the attraction and that is covered in the love element... I think.

N (ex-eternal romantic)
The "zsa zsa zsu" and fireworks will inevitably fade with time regardless. They are replaced with a deeper love bond. Still, Patsy Kline says "sometimes love just ain't enough" and that's the truth. It's the most difficult of the 3 to compensate for or work around, but mutual respect and the warmth of familiarity can sometimes replace it if the other 2 are there.

I agree with AT, social prejudice concerning inter-sect relationships files under 'Circumstance', and as he said it's worthwhile working around that if everything else is going for you. Agnostics of the world UNITE!

Been there eh?

4:29 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Delirious said...

Yup, as Fouad said, admiration is a must, and so is respect (at the risk of sounding like Aretha Franklin :)

9:19 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger Slink said...

"People" as in everyone- from professionals to your every day jo, has been trying to figure these things out for years... but surely different things work for different people.

I for one, left my last relationship due to trust being obliterated once again. Others can cope with it as long as the 'love'is there... I dunno... people are just so different and we all have our different limits. Trust is a must for me, as is respect and compromise. It seems the guys I choose have differing ideas as to what these terms mean.

7:18 PM, March 09, 2006  

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