May 26, 2010
Romantic Relationship Templates
A Template Issue
It just dawned on me that a couple whose circumstance may change (maybe the guy chose to live somewhere else), break-up even if there's nothing wrong with their relationship...even if the ingredients making up the relationship are still viable and intact - both parties may still love each other, respect each other, and can see the other as an integral part of themselves. Why? They think the relationship no longer works, when it fact, it's the template that no longer applies. Instead of changing the template, they force themselves to fit into a mold that has no room for their unique needs or circumstance. Not finding a fit, they throw-in the white towel and resign themselves to the "failure" of the relationship. There's nothing wrong with the relationship. It's the template that doesn't apply anymore. Unfortunately, not too many people are aware of that. I was not. Not until this morning when I got an AHA! moment. Abstract? Read on.
One Size Fits All?
Most couples assume the conventional committed-monogamous-get-married-happily-ever-after template. It's a relationship that puts a lot of weight on the future and the physical togetherness of the couple. That's what society puts on the table and that's what people get. Most don't even bother to question it or apply critical thinking into it. That might work for most people, but certainly not for all people.
The Future Does Not Exist
For some people, the future does not exist. In fact, if you apply critical thinking into it, the future CANNOT exist because you're alway in the here-and-now. If you apply the conventional template on these people, it's not going to work. Does it mean they are not suited to be in a relationship? That's absurd! Solution? Dump that template and get something that works. Or even customize a template that accommodates such paradigm. Perhaps the template only deals in the here-and-now...a couple exploring themselves and the world around them one day at a time....moment by moment, as the clock ticks. Tomorrow's another day. No talk of the future, no aspiration for the future. Any aspiration on what the future holds is nothing but a delusion anyway because life does not offer guarantees.
For people who cannot be physically together (like a long distance relationship), the conventional template is bound to fail at some point. Even if it survives, it will always feel heavy because there are expectations leaning against it. Does it mean the relationship is doom for failure? Not if you dump the template and take on something tailor-fitted to their situation...perhaps they can create a template where they agree to live their own separate and independent lives while they are apart, and then resume an intimate relationship when they find themselves together...once a month, once a year...it realy doesn't matter, provided the right template is there.
Analogy? If you're a mountain biker, you can relate to this. You're riding uphill. The current template is a climbing setup - no suspension travel (some suspension system can be locked), seat-height adjusted to allow a partial bend on the legs, grip is on the bar ends (not on the handle-bar), rider weight in front and gears at its lowest. That setup is optimized for climbing. What if you reach the summit and now it's time to go downhill? The current climbing template is a recipe for disaster. Solution? Change the template. Change the setup: lower down the seat to lower the center of gravity, unlock the suspension and max-out the suspension play, put rider weight at the back, grab the handle bar (not the bar ends) and shift into high gear. Now your template is optimized for a downhill ride.
The rider who knows what template works on the changing landscape of trail riding will have a much better ride experience. The rider who cannot accommodate these changes increases his likelihood of a crash. Even if he doesn't crash, he won't get a satisfying ride.
Presumably, people who go into a serious relationship are consenting adults who can think for themselves and can make informed decisions on what they're getting themselves into...like finding the best template on which to found a relationship. And it's a continuing process...not a one-time creation of a rigid structure. People are dynamic, their situations change, their needs change, and for as long as the underlying cornerstones are still there (the love, respect, willingness to be a life partner), then the template has to be reviewed and tweaked to accommodate such changes. To walk away from a viable relationship when all that's needed is to find a template that works, is a travesty.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
(Jun 1, 2010) ...don't you think that the fact that the parties involved in the relationship refuse to adapt to the new situation, in your words, select a new template, happens to suggest that there is something wrong in the relationship?
(Jun 1, 2010) IMHO, most react to the situation within the existing template. The thought of changing the template (or adjusting the paradigm) does not even occur. Sometimes, they need to step back (or get out of the box) to see a different angle of the same picture. Of course, it's a different story if they are already aware but choose to remain where they are.
If there is really something wrong with the relationship (eg - the love is gone or the relationship has become one of co-dependence, etc.), then I don't think any template can help at all. I'm referring to a healthy relationship that's challenged by a situational change (eg - like OFWs leaving a loved one to work abroad or a couple with different religion).
(May 29, 2010) Just read your relationship templates ~ you ok? You sound a bit, uh, bothered? Metta and hugs to you!
(May 28, 2010) You also gave me an AHA! moment after reading this blog. May nakapagsulat ng pilit kong ini-explain. 🙂
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