Back in April, I got a call from my cousin. She invited me to attend her wedding. ‘How exciting’ – I thought to myself! She is an amazing person and it seemed like she found the one… Though here is a weird thing. Every week since then she’s been calling to update me on a situation. The wedding was off and on again, depending on the mood swings of her fiancé. A shaky and irritating situation, isn’t it? It all was confusing for the guests – whether they should get flight tickets and come for a wedding or not?!
Several months went by and I was still on the phone with my cousin almost every day. I listened to her with all patience and empathy I could whisk out of myself. She was going on about all the troubles in a relationship, with its ups & downs. I tried to be nothing but supportive, and I think I failed. Helena was stressing out, she lost her sleep along with her appetite. She was looking thinner, resembling a see-through glass, not a person I knew. And at some point whilst listening to her on the phone again, my mind went wandering…
What do we know about a relationship that reminds someone of a waiting area at the airport? When you are just ‘hanging there’ being impatient. When you wait for your connection flight to take off and get you to a “happily ever after.”
And another character of this story? Andrew is partying non-stop and asking his friends around whether he is making a mistake by “giving up his freedom”. Correct me if I am wrong, but If you feel the urge to ask a question like that, I think deep down inside you know the answer.
“Maybe he’s getting cold feet about the entire marriage thing? Maybe he’s scared. Wedding jitters? Should I wait and see?” – I hear my cousin’s voice on the phone as my mind “returns” from its wanderings. Helena is coming up with excuses for him and at the same time is desperate for any advice. How do we end up in situations like this? We should understand the difference between men and women when it comes to a relationship. Here’s what I’ve found from my personal experience.
The Essential Difference Between Men & Women When in a Relationship.
When in a relationship some of us seem to strive for new ways to improve it, kicking and pushing it up the bumpy hills. Not taking a relationship for what it is, here and now. I would make a career out of obsessing about ‘where is it going’. How obsessed I was trying to predict all the possible outcomes of a relationship. Ahh, the glimmering future with those enchanting images… It’s astonishing, how often I fooled myself with its allure. And so, when my ‘daydreaming’ would take a bit longer, I would get slapped across the face by reality. How come? Because our partners, especially those that won’t commit, have different visions of the future. They are real people. Real ones, unlike those that we’ve envisioned in our ‘short movie’ of an imaginary future.
And so… When it comes to men, whilst being in a relationship, they seem to be more in the present moment. They enjoy the situation that is unrolling before them, seeing and taking it for what it is. One day at a time. Without rushing into the sunset with the titles coming up on the screen.
Someone once mentioned that there’s a balance that we have to find. A balance between enjoying the present and building foundation for the fast approaching future. The best thing we can do for any relationship is to let it unfold before us. It cannot and shouldn’t be forced.
Let me suggest a reminder that any relationship needs to be nourished. It takes time. And ‘happily ever after’ never happens overnight. It takes hard work, patience, and dedication, and it never stops after we exchange the rings. And the mere ritual of it never promises that everything will be a-okay. It takes a time to accept another person, respect our differences and celebrate our similarities… It takes patience, buckets of patience, to make it work. My cousin doesn’t/won’t realize it because she is in a mental fog of dreaming of that future that has nothing to do with the NOW or that future that will arrive when it arrives.
I didn’t fly to my cousin’s wedding. Because it never took place…
Our mutual friend asked Helena a simple yet loaded question. And she couldn’t reply YES to it without flinching: Were you born to love this particular person?
When Helena shared this with me I realized that this question not only shifted her perspective, but also changed mine…