Even though I am a fan of certain traditions, I am not a fan of continuing traditions that are not helpful and stifling. As someone who has almost been married twice and asked a few more times than that, I honestly am not sure that I will get married. Which I am okay with.
Most of the time when I say this out loud to someone, they react with, ‘Don’t say that!’- as though not being married is a curse. If I am a woman who never gets married, I am okay with that because the standards of the partner that I want to marry are high. And, if I don’t meet someone who meets those expectations in this lifetime, I am better without it.
I was recently reminded of what happens when we settle and give way more than we get, we become exhausted. I was so exhausted by my last relationship that, at this point, I can’t even speak to him anymore. The thought of seeing him tires me out. But he is not the only one to blame. I went against my intuition and general well-being for the sake of tradition. Which, I will never do again.
Here are 4 reasons why we need to create a new paradigm of relationship based on love and respect:
1. The old paradigm of relationships is not working.
Unless you live in a cave, you must be aware of how we are bombarded with gossip about celebrities or well-known couples breaking up.
From what I have seen and experienced, in most cases, the man cheats on a woman and she has to decide to stay or leave. The usual response to that is, ‘Men will be men.’ Which is an old tradition. The idea that someone can’t change based on their upbringing is absurd. Because if someone truly loves another, they will rise up and and become a better person for their partner or allow their significant other to find someone else who will not continue to hurt them. I am done hearing, ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘men cheat’ because that only lowers the standards of the kind of people that we should want to be. People who are respectful and create peace in each others’ lives.
2. Gender roles are fading.
You don’t have to be non-binary to see that the old idea of man & woman relationship is not working anymore. We were once sold the picture- perfect family of a man seeing a woman who she loves and making her his. The woman then spends the relationship keeping him or forcing him to change. That was my last relationship. And, what I learnt is that it’s all a trap. It’s just a way to keep drama and problems around because someone will always resent the other. What I experienced in being a romantic circumstance like this, is that equal means equal. Healthy relationships thrive on equality and respect, not who has more money, who is having the kids, who is more well-known, who does more or who was born a male or female. They are based on love and respect.
3. Trust should come before protection.
When I speak to a lot of people about relationships, I get sad. It saddens me that most people are entering relationships or marriages expecting the worst and needing to protect themselves. I have been there before, where I was scared that things would go wrong with someone that I dearly loved. As a result of this fear, I have tried to control the other person so that they would always be around. Playing mind games, acting mysterious, coming&going and having some kind of way to have leverage over someone because if I have chosen to love them, then I have deserved something in return. This thinking is toxic and co-dependent. When we love with our walls up, the other person can’t come into our house. Sometimes we put up walls so high that we can’t even see how we have closed off the other person who is on the other side. Defeating the whole purpose of a relationship. We cannot love without trusting. If there is no trust, there is no love.
4. Relationships are about unity and creating a union.
My last relationship taught me many things but mostly taught me that if unity is not the goal, there is no point in being with someone else. Which, is why I left. I made a decision to leave because I felt more alone than actually with someone. After I left, I had an epiphany, if someone truly loves me, why would they not want to be in union with me? And, if they don’t, there is no point in being with them. Being with someone should not feel like you are fighting with them consistently, you should feel like the person you have chosen to be with is on your side; not in battle with you.