Sometimes when I look at the word “relationship” I like to change it in my mind to “real”ationship. Because to me, if a relationship is not “real” then what is the point?
Trust. It seems to be the hardest barrier to break. Can I trust this person? Will they let me down? Will they live up to my expectations? Can I really let down my walls?
I learned once in class that trust is the foundation of all relationships, it is the building block. Once that trust starts to crumble everything else comes undone.
But sometimes after the trust is there- people become complacent. Sometimes people think relationships will just maintain themselves, like a well-oiled machine. But even machines break down.
The other day I was watching Oprah (don’t hate) and Goldie Hawn was on the show to talk about her new book about happiness. It was inevitable they were going to talk about Goldie’s 27 year romance with actor Kurt Russell. The couple never married and yet they are still wonderfully happy with each other. Goldie says it is due to the fact they respect each other’s independence, they continue to communicate well and challenge each other and because she still “likes” him.
I could see it in her eyes when she said she “likes” him. It’s that same look you get when you are 15 and you come rushing home to tell Mom that you “like” the new boy in school.
After 27 years (Goldie says it will be 28 years on Valentine’s Day) how do you keep those feelings so strong?
I’m no relationship expert but I feel those same feelings for my soulmate-best friend-lover-Rob. There’s a certain twinge of excitment when I see his caller ID. And that’s not to say we don’t have our fair share of ups and downs because Lord knows that ain’t the truth.
But the truth is….we like the truth.
Truth is key to a “real”ationship. Without truth can their really be trust? And without trust can their really be love?
If you are not truthful to yourself, how can you then claim to be truthful to your significant other?
And this really is true of all relationships, romantic or otherwise. The trust that is established must be continued. There must be an open flow of communication. Ask for the “real”ationship to flow on autopilot and it will fail. And I mean will, not might, will fail.
It’s almost like when Toyota, a well established, highly profitable company in the world’s eyes, decided to switch their manufacturing from people to machines. The CEO’s turned their heads, told the machines what to do and then went about their business. When the machine malfunctioned the company was left with thousands of defaulted products. Whether they knew about the problem or not is a whole different story, however the point is: the accidents started, the truth was uncovered, and now people’s lives were at stake.
The truth can be as ugly as the twisted metal and shattered glass of a highway wreck.
And once the truth was out, the trust was broken. I heard people say, “I’ll never buy a Toyota again.” Or, “I’m trading my Toyota in, pronto.”
This truly is not a rant against the company, my fiance still drives a Camry.
The point is:
Trust, truth, communication, acceptance of flaws.
THAT is the key to a healthy “real”ationship.
And I think there should be marriage vows for friendships too: what are you willing to give in? What are you willing to take out? Do you want me to do all the work or are you willing to jump in and take the reigns?
As Valentine’s Day approaches I get very sentimental and start thinking about love. All the people I love in this world, they know who they are. My Dad calls me a “hopeless romantic” but I don’t like the word “hopeless” at all. I’d like to think of myself as a “hopeful” romantic, because I sure am full of love.
So while you are out there dealing with your “real”ationships, remember to be honest and true to firstly, yourself and secondly to everyone else.
“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.” – Pietro Aretino