Two Views

02 May

I don’t know about other people in relationships but I’ve always been aware that there are two ways of looking at it:  The way it’s supposed to be… and the way it is.  Ideally, your relationship doesn’t suffer from a case of double-vision but chances are it does.

I’ve allowed on numerous occasions that right from the start, there are two views of how a relationship is supposed to work:  His idea versus her idea.  We learn about such things before we’re really old enough to be in a relationship, getting tips and hints from our parents and other adults about what being in a relationship is supposed to be like and we go on from there, having our views on this modified in varying degrees as we get into – and get kicked out of – relationships, screwing it up (or having it screwed up) time after time until, hopefully and eventually, we got it right and this relationship is gonna last longer than a couple of weeks.

Of course, communication plays a major role in this; he shares his views, she shares hers, and both find a way that both of their views can coexist and if it looks like they can, well, we’re off and running.  However, even when things are going well, there’s still that sense of things being the way they’re supposed to be as opposed to what’s really going on.  It’s not to suggest that there’s some hocus-pocus going on here or that someone’s become a victim of a Jedi mind trick; it’s really a simple matter of two very different things, what you think versus reality.  In a perfect world, what you’re thinking and what’s actually happening are one and the same or close enough for government work.

What I’ve observed over the years is that one person’s agenda winds up being the agenda for both of them and, often, that’s not seen to be all that cool with the person whose agenda – thoughts about how the relationship is supposed to go – has been supplanted and replaced in favor of the other person’s view.  My thoughts are that this is the part where men complain about women wanting and needing to change them and they’re really not trying to hear it – but they go along with it despite having some legitimate concerns about her plan.

This isn’t to say or suggest that people with two different views can’t exist with each other peacefully and happily.  You have to think about that science experiment we either all know about or have done at some point with two magnets;  the two positive poles push away from each other as will the two negative poles, which probably gave birth to the phrase, “opposites attract” when you place a positive pole next to a negative one and – CLICK – the magnets stick together.  Some magnets are so powerful that no matter what you put between the opposing poles, they will continue to attract and stick to each other and, yep, if you put an electric field into play, the drawing power is increased.  But as with common magnets, after time, their ability to attract diminishes and even the slightest thing that gets between them, say, a piece of paper, will negate the attractive tendencies.

I tend to think of this in more “human” terms as people holding on to their opposing relationship views – it becomes that piece of paper between the attractive forces.  We think that successful relationships are based on commonality, that is, we have more things in common than the things we don’t.  We’ve seen that the less we have in common with each other, the less the attractive forces are between us until, sadly, you just don’t stick together all that well.  What pops into my head is that while it’s thought that we actually trade our views for someone else’s, we really don’t do this and this is why we think the relationship should be going like this… when it’s really going somewhere else and, well, that’s a reason to be unhappy and we know what happens when too much unhappiness gets added to the mix, right?

We can see this at work when two people can, verbally, agree that things should go like this – but it doesn’t get close because what they’re thinking keeps it from happening.  I can remember quite a few times when my ex and I would agree with something in principle – but I’ve thought, “Yeah, right, like that’s gonna happen…”  Not because whatever we were talking about didn’t make sense but because it didn’t fit my view of how things should work in that situation – and it can literally be anything from sex to the best way to wash dishes.

It’s that thing that gets us pointing our fingers at each other in a very accusatory way or, what we said is one thing, what we’re actually doing is something very different and, of course, goes against what the other person thinks should be happening.  Yeah, sometimes, it’s all about not keeping promises that were made but I also think this happens during our attempts to stay on the same page with each other.  From the beginning, we’re always adjusting to stay within the zone of commonality we’ve established with each other with the knowledge that the more we stay within this zone, the better we stick together.

If we don’t have the ability to adjust on the fly, wouldn’t we slip out of that zone and allow our different views on things to act like that piece of paper and get between us and cancel out some of our stickiness?  I mean, think about it; how many times have you been presented with your partner’s view on something and your instant, immediate thought is, “I ain’t doing that!” – and not because they said something you might deem as silly or whatever?  Sometimes, I think some folks have issues with someone else knowing a better way to do this or that and because that’s not what we know, we resist going with the better way… and even see it as our partner trying to subvert us and change us into someone/something we feel we weren’t meant to be.

And perhaps this dual view comes into play because some of us just don’t know how to exist with someone else?  That our way is the only way?  What gets me making funny faces when I’ve heard people rant and rave about this is how they seem to know that their way IS the only way… when that can’t be true.  Not only do we have that image of the “perfect person” in our heads, we also have an image of the “perfect relationship” in our heads as well; it might exist but until you actually come across it, how do you know it’s doable?

I think a lot of us knows that it isn’t… but we maintain the image and then try to change stuff to match the image in our heads instead of working with what we have… and that’s usually met with resistance and maybe even reinforces the other person’s image of how things should be.  Maybe they’re both right, creating two positive poles and we know what happens when two positive poles meet, right?  If they’re both wrong, creating two negative poles, well, you know.

There’s probably nothing wrong with having your own view on how a relationship should go – that’s better than going into a relationship totally clueless.  However, to make things continue to stick together, well, things have to change… and maybe it’s this resistance or failure to change that’ll cancel out our magnetic attraction for each other?  Perhaps we seek to maintain our own view because experience isn’t doing a good job of realigning our ability to think and change on the fly?  It is said that people who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it and, indeed, we all know of people who consistently keep making the same mistakes over and over and mostly because they think they’re always right when, in fact, they might not be – but it’s that resistance to change that becomes that piece of paper.

Relationships just don’t happen.  Well, some do – they’re just natural magnets.  Most relationships have to be built from the ground up, identifying those properties that will allow us  to stick and, yep, you apply some current and – voila!  Stickiness!  I think that people prefer a relationship that doesn’t require a lot of work to make them stick together and while this is all well and good, you still have to do something to make sure nothing can get between you and lessen the attractive force.  The trick isn’t getting together – it’s staying together.


Posted by on 2 May 2011 in Life, Living and Loving



5 responses to “Two Views

  1. marriagecoach1

    2 May 2011 at 16:56

    The biggest single reason that relationships fail is the lack of conflict resolution skills. Sadly most marriage counselors don’t teach this vital skill. It is for this reason among many others that marriage counselors have such a high failure rate. We lead the world by a wide margin in divorce rate with the kids suffering the most.



    • kdaddy23

      3 May 2011 at 14:17

      Or maybe they fail because the two people involved lack the ability to see that they’re going to conflict before the fact? I’ve come to understand that people, in general, have become rather adept at the art of deception, hiding the “bad” things about themselves while highlighting all the “good.” It’s no secret that a good piece of ass can go a long way to making someone not see a person’s negatives until they find out that as far as longevity in the relationship is concerned, that’s the only thing they really have in common – and you need more than just that.

      If I remember correctly, some religions still require that a couple receive counseling before they tie the knot and a lot of people think this is silly because they usually wind up talking to a minister who may have never, ever, been married. Yes, there are courses one can take to be able to do this… but it’s really not the same as having experience with being married so people are kinda loathe to discuss their marital future with such a person.

      I know some folks are reluctant to “give up their secrets” in the early stages of a relationship and probably because they know they won’t be well-accepted and can nix the whole deal. So a lot of the different views remain hidden and, as problems tend to do, show up at the most inopportune times. Marriage counselors fail more often than not because they’re trying to effect damage control after the fact; as “Mr. Miyagi” said, “The best way to avoid punch is no be there!” If a couple were able to avoid the points of conflict before committing themselves, there would be little need for conflict resolution which is too much like losing a point after you’ve already punched the other guy in the nuts; the damage has been done and there’s nothing to say that it won’t happen again (and it usually does). And, in keeping with this analogy, most of the time, it isn’t the punch you see that does the most damage – it’s the one you never see coming.

      I used to think that the real problem in CR was getting people to see reason; I learned that this really isn’t the issue – it’s all about change and the resistance people have for it. It’s that situation where you can get a couple to agree, in theory and/or principle, that this is the way things should be – but since they’re not going to change their minds – they either think they’re right or in full “I ain’t doing that” mode – all they really do is pay lip service to the whole thing, the problems worsen, and the relationship fails.


  2. business review

    3 May 2011 at 10:32

    They need romantic partners who are like them and that is the reason why they are best suited with a Gemini an Aquarius and a Leo… Answering the question what is the best mate for an Aries note that With a Gemini the Arian is always at his best as these partners have many common likings and interests.


  3. marriagecoach1

    3 May 2011 at 15:30

    Well in order for conflict resolution to work, you have to have both parties willing and committed to it or obviously it won’t work.


    • kdaddy23

      6 May 2011 at 09:57

      And you know I agree with that premise… but I’m wondering if something can be done – or should be done – before the fact? Other than, say, one-night stands, should people who are planning to, at the least, shack up with each other, seek to learn the resolution skills while, at the same time, determining if they’re going to have issues that will require those skills? It is not better to nip such things in the bud than it is to wake up one morning and find yourself in a clusterfuck because of something you didn’t know, didn’t say, wasn’t reveal at any point, and other stuff like that? Like I said, I know everyone brings stuff to a relationship that can impact it negatively… and they say absolutely nothing about it before the fact; then, somewhere down the road, it appears and, oops, now there’s a big-time problem.



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