Is My Relationship Boring?
“How are you and (insert name of partner)?”
“Yeah, we’re great”.
“Oh, is that it? You don't seem very enthusiastic”.
This is how a normal conversation goes when I’m catching up with someone. Just because I have nothing new or significant to report about my relationship, doesn't mean that there’s something wrong.
Then I start to wonder if maybe there is something wrong. Maybe the fact that our relationship is so stable and content is a bad sign. We’re always told that a healthy relationship requires just the right amount of arguing- not so much that it’s toxic, but not so little that there’s no passion.
But why should we argue at all? We are happy and neither one of us does anything so drastic to upset one another. If we have a problem with each other, we communicate it rationally and seek to correct ourselves if needed. Our society has perpetuated the need for arguments in relationships to stay healthy and ‘keep the spark alive’ when they should never be needed if you are both mature and respectful people.
So many of my friends are in relationships that appear exciting and on edge. They have heated arguments, which are then solved by a tearful and heartfelt discussion and then follow by surprise dinners or romantic picnics. It all seems very glamorous and passionate, and I sometimes wonder if my relationship seems rather boring in comparison to the outside view.
Then I stop myself and think that it is not my relationship that is the problem. It is theirs that is toxic- they need the heat, anger and distrust to keep their relationship alive.
Through films, books and media, our culture has perpetuated the idea that relationships should constantly be demanding- full of ups and downs and passionate arguments. When relationships do not fit this model, they appear comfortable, monotonous and stale.
The truth is, my relationship is not stale just because we do not test each other.
Me and my partner, have spent a large proportion of our relationship apart, as we met just before attending separate universities. We have made it through without hiccups and because of this, we can appreciate that as much as we share an amazing life together, we also have our own separate lives.
One thing that a lot of my friends find hard to understand, is the deep level of trust we have in each other. I am perfectly content with him going out with a big group of his friends for the night, coming back at god knows what hour. I do not feel the need to call him or check on him and can go to sleep with the knowledge that I will see him the next day, without the concern of who he has been speaking to or what he has been doing.
I am often told that I am too relaxed and that I should be curious about what he's doing when he's out with his friends. I always say the same thing: if he was going to cheat on me, then he would and that would show me that he wasn't the person I thought he was.
So often, people spend their time preventing their partner from being in situations where they could be unfaithful, such as saying ‘I would never let him go to Ibiza with the boys, he must be crazy to think I’d let him!’.
If you think there was a possibility that your partner would cheat on a holiday with his friends, then why are you with him? A debaucherous and wild setting is not going to make your partner cheat if he previously had no desire to.
The problem is, that this level of distrust and fear within a relationship has become so normalised, that when someone like me is really laid back about their partner, we are seen as non-caring.
I love him so much and I would be heartbroken if he cheated on me, but I would know that it was the signal I needed to prove that he wasn't right for me. If you let your partner do what they want and they choose to make the wrong decision, you will know their true colours. If you restrict your partner, then you will not know if they have a subconscious desire to be unfaithful, yet haven't had the opportunity to carry it out.
Sometimes, I think that a person can become so invested in their relationship, that it becomes the defining part of their lives. Whilst my partner is a huge part of my life, and I owe much of my happiness to him, I also love myself. I need my own time and my own interests, as much as he needs his. This may appear to the outside world as distant and cold, yet it’s the way we have managed to stay happy with each other for so many years.
Whilst some search for a fierce and all-consuming form of love, those that manage to stay together through thick and thin, with no cause to fight or scream show an incredibly powerful type of love. A love where you can respect and trust each other and live harmoniously as best friends is so strong and shows resistance and maturity.
Despite not always fitting the Hollywood ideal, I admire myself and my partner for being able to love each other with such ease, whilst not needing drama or conflict to keep our passion alive.