The dilemma in relationships

In theory, I find myself completely in agreement with a friend (well, I have to use that tag for lack of anything better –perhaps close acquaintance is more apt) who holds that men and women should not be possessive about each other.

He also says that sex should be a matter of drawing room conversation.

A woman friend dismisses his theory as arrant nonsense. “What’s this new-fangled word – ‘possession’? We all want to ‘belong’ to someone.” She holds that his gambit is to have sex without commitment.

I don’t know if she is right.

With some people, a one-off fling would be just right. With some others, occasional seconds and thirds would also work out fine. For some inexplicable reasons though, with some people it has a way of turning into something else.

You keep at it and keep telling yourself that it is just a slaking of a physical need, yet emotions have a way of making themselves felt.

Despite the availability of other partners, you would want only that special someone. That would be alright too.

The problem comes when you want the special someone to think that you are special too. And then, you would want to make yourselves exclusive to each other.

This is the attachment that leads to possessiveness.

The challenge is to divorce attachment from affection. Can one continue to be affectionate to another who does not reciprocate it?

Can one have affection without wanting to ‘possess’ or ‘belong’?

I have only known of parents loving their children even if the children do not seem to reciprocate it; to some extent I have seen it between siblings and to a far lesser extent between friends. But I am not sure if I have seen this between two adults who are in a physical relationship.

The friend who I mention at the start, seems capable of it. To some, he comes across as a straight-forward and self-contained person. To others, he appears to be selfish and callous. It appears to me that he seems to have found what works for him and that he is genuinely happy; he is like a nomad, wandering free, with no baggage and ready to stay a while if he finds good hosts but always moving on.I am almost envious of him.

So has he found the ideal of detachment? And are those who pursue the myth of romance and commitment doing so because they are less enlightened ? Though commitment sounds life a prison sentence. Perhaps a better word would be the sense of being special to someone.

The problem with wanting to be special is it brings the issue of ego; and ego battles kill relationships.

Detachment seems to be the ideal to aim for. Therein lies the catch – as I said in the beginning, some theories sound right. It’s the practice that’s the bitch.

What do you think? Do share.

Author: sandhya mendonca

outpouring of occasional whimsies

2 thoughts on “The dilemma in relationships”

  1. I would not take sides here. But I always felt that people cling to each other for support and fulfillment of desires / needs. This could be fulfillment of physical, emotional or material/financial needs. If a man is looking for sexual gratification ( “supposedly” more than a woman ) , a woman also looks for security ( emotional, physical or whatever. Again “supposedly” more than a man ! ). A commitment is just a kind of warranty that people want for extended support.
    But like you said, I would also like to stress on the words “what works for him / her or rather him+her “. No matter what the rules of the game are, this approach has successfully prevailed since ages. Rest all is a dumb discussion people have been doing since centuries without any answer. And then setting some social norms to act as deterrent. Men have broken the norms. And equal number of women too have done that along 🙂

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