Sunday, June 15, 2008

Too much togetherness...

I woke up this morning thinking about couples who practically merge into a single person and others who manage to maintain individual identities and interests with a nice little world that unifies them. And before I could articulate this myself on my own blog, I read this.

I hadn't even gotten to the whole 'being in the same house' and 'how to define living spaces' piece that Gouri talks about. (Though, for years I've told my friends who kid me on my obsessive cleanliness quotient in the bathroom/ kitchen that if/when I'm married, I'd actually like one extra bathroom if we could afford it and a spare room to go chill out and do my/ his own thing when desired, and yes, I've been laughed at.) For me the frustration is more people who vanish from the radar as individuals and suddenly re emerge as a duo.

Don't get me wrong. Like with entry into any new lifestage (a new college/ a relationship/ a new job) it is understandable if the person vanishes from his/her regular life to experience the beginning of a new phase - the honeymoon phase, as we simply term it. But to go off the radar completely (unless you moved to a different continent, we all get the limitations that physical distance poses) just cause you now are with a significant other is something I don't understand.

Like with most other things that I haven't experienced, I'm afraid to seriously comment on/ judge this phenomenon, cause my judgment usually has a sneaky way of coming back to bite me where the sun don't shine.

Yet, given how much I love my own life and the activities that it includes, I can only hope the people who love spending time with the single me do not have to cope with a 2 become 1 phenomenon when a better half does enter the picture.

And selfishly, given how much I love the individuals I spend time with, I can only hope they can continue to preserve some semblance of the person they are without turning into 2 people overnight.


Gouri said...

mystic, mystic
i meet newer and newer emotional/physical siamese twin couples every day. met up with a person who i knew ages ago in college. at that time too she could not complete a sentence without inserting boyfriend-then-husband's name; today too, her email id is her husband's name. i foolishly said, no not your husband's give me your id - when i saw the scribble she gave me. and she proudly and almost patronisingly simpered and said: "same". Brrrr...

unpredictable said...

Gouri: Gawd! That's the thing ... Luck has it that I'm actually lucky to know many women (and men) who still carry on nurturing their talents .. and sometimes end up productively influencing the partner to nurture talents they wouldn't have touched otherwise .. like recently this woman i worked with on a play production got her husband to sign up to the project, and turns out, he's a brilliant actor .. I wish more people would treat relationships this way, as a platform to expand vs. shrink!

GoldenSoul said...

I wrote about similar topic a while ago- you may find it interesting :-D

read! read! =)

Ramya said...

Ah! I so know what you are talking about! Whenever my galpals disappear and then reemerge as a duo, I act in the most juvenile fashion possible because it upsets me so!

musafir said...

I think the sheer fact of being in a relationship is so addictive and overpowering that it tends to add to an inherent tendency to be lazy. And cultivating one's "self" and "evolving" are "high-energy" activities. At the risk of generalizing big time, couples somehow don't have the energy to 'expand' {as you've aptly put it in the comment above}. Because, hey, they are getting so much more from the relationship with so little effort. Personally, I believe it is this relatively-higher-returns-with-relatively-lower-effort feature of a relationship (make that a stable relationship) that leads to people slowing down in the pursuits of their interests, and consequently, a shrinking of their respective individual selves. Of course, there are exceptions but I'm talking about the majority here.

Have you also noticed how a lot of people are happy to have just the relationship and nothing else in their lives, if it came to that? I sometimes think that we've been conditioned to think that people make us happier than other inanimate things/pursuits.

Also connected is the "everything is so meaningless" line that's prattled around by people who have just broken up, where "everything" includes pursuits that made them happy before they got into a relationship. It's highly frustrating to see how people pin their sense of self on a relationship and its working out.

As for Gouri Dange's article, I liked this bit: "if you’re insisting that your spouse and only your spouse be, besides your partner and co-parent, also: friend, philosopher, guide, punching bag, shopping buddy, gossiper, spring-cleaner, movie-watcher, agony aunt/uncle, office politics discusser, walking companion, movie watcher, food explorer, fellow trekker, bird-watcher, and so on and so unrealistically forth." Exploring that line of argument can lead to a lot of controversial thoughts :)

Apologies for the long comment. I seem to like tangents.

unpredictable said...

Goldensoul: Read and commented! :)

Ramya: hah.. do keep your patience esp with 1st timers ... the rush of a 1st relationship is like no other ... and with others .. i guess each couple has their own way of living out life .. one can only hope it's a choice vs. a default groove they get stuck in ..

Musafir: :) Long comments are so much fun to read and very validating (MY post, ladies and gentlemen, made someone think SO much! - like that). I'm nodding along to a lot of what you've said .. but some points:
1. I do think people have an ability to make us feel more alive, social animals as we are... that said, my issue is more with ONE person becoming the center of life, not so much person vs. object.

2. About break ups and post break up behavior: Again, to be fair to someone going through a tough time, you'd react with a sense of despair to pretty much any major loss in your life .. be it the loss of a job, a loved one or a broken relationship. To follow it up with "nothing matters anymore" as a short term reaction is normal. To go on with that and let it subsume everything else months and years down the line, THAT's giving up your life for something worthless.

3. I LOVE her point there. Having to take on the roles that 25 different people take in our lives is beyond superhuman. May no one be punished with pressure thus.

musafir said...

In reply:

1. Yes, agree with you on taking issue with one person being the center of your life, but to be fair (or pedantic), what energizes a person more probably boils down to the personality type. Myers-Briggs, for example. But yes, whatever rocks the boat.

2. Yes, agree. One is very tolerant in that sense (towards oneself too, if I might add). But then there are times when one is left wishing for a sense of balance.

3. I liked that bit because if you follow it up to the logical extreme, you end up questioning the foundations of monogamy and exclusivity, opening up more areas for debate.

And yes, long comments can make for interesting conversations sometimes :)

unpredictable said...

Musafir: Ah yes! I didn't stretch your 3rd point as far in my mind. Debate would be an understatement! You could have the Shiv Sena at your door da. Careful! :D

Interesting conversations indeed!

No more Mr. Nice Guy said...

oh please do not worry..

there are a lot of couples who completely hate each other, and de"spite" being together, they are thinking in the back of their minds
"i am just never ever going to be like him /her "

they probably live like animmals too
but they still live

but i think its still better than
2 people bieng one

that just sucks
its almost like they are pretty much in love with themselves

thanks to so much tv and shit like that,
we are all becoming shallow human biengs
and i am one of them