image –Kirille Le
I sit across the table from my friend in the Starbucks closest to our respective apartments. We’ve been discussing relationships, or in my case- lack of one. Her boyfriend and her had just gotten into a fight over how undriven her boyfriend is and how she thought he had career ambitions when they began dating. She swirls her drink around with her spoon and says, “I think know him, but then he pulls this shit.”
This isn’t the first time i’ve had a conversation with a friend similar to this. People seem to enjoy the comfort of knowing exactly who the person they’re in love with is- I, on the other hand, feel very differently. I feel as if things should always have a vague mystery to them. I feel as if I should be with someone who is as complex and convoluted as the plot to Momento.
We feel the need to know everything about someone and we strive know all the versions of them. The twitter-version, the facebook-version, and the super crafty/ thrifty Pinterest version of them. We want to know the juxtaposition of their online lives and their “real life” selves. We want to know their great-aunt Bessie’s birthday, and we want to know exactly how they take their morning coffee and evening snack. We want to know them as well as we think we know ourselves. Anger is what we feel when they deviate from their script, our rebuttal being “it’s like I don’t even know you!” When we fall in love, there is an image of the relationship that we build in our minds. Since we’re not completely sure of the general personality of who we are with, we fill in the blanks with the ideas that are most appealing to us. When the person slowly deviates from this image we have created of them, we tend to lose interest or become angry.
Have you ever paused to ask yourself just how fucking boring someone would be to us if we “got” them? If we were able to predict every thing someone else did, we would find ourselves wandering far, far away from them quickly. It is complacency that breeds resentment. When you’re able to interpret every sentence, every touch, and every nuanced habit- the largest part of a relationship disappears. Whoever tells you mystery in a relationship is bad is probably a bore. “Oh, he wouldn’t want to go out tonight. I won’t even ask them because I know they’ll spend the night on the couch watching The Kardashians and cutting his finger nails. He’ll probably drink a whiskey coke, but only three because he has work in the morning and won’t be able to fall asleep if he is too drunk.”
When the day comes that I can finish someone’s sentences and predict their every move, the distance between who I think they are, and who they see themselves as becomes closed. It is in that moment that I know that perhaps it is time to move on. To keep your knowledge of love stagnant is to stunt your personal growth. I want to know someone, but only just so much. I want to know the parts of them that are ugly and visceral, as well as the pieces of them that astound me. The most exciting part of a relationship once the sex becomes routine and the you spend more nights in watching Netflix than out with your friends is discovering new things about your lover. I want to know them, but only so much, only enough so I can find new things to love about them each and every day.