Tuesday, February 15, 2005

When reality sets in

When reality sets in

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 1:25 AM

It is common for lovers to expect the impossible. Lovers believe that the happiness and excitement they now feel will hold and go on forever. The experiences of the rest of mankind don’t matter much because lovers always feel and believe that their love is different and unique.

They feel this way because when two people fall in love, they do all in their power to avoid tackling tough issues that might cause any kind of discomfort. There is real fear and deep concern about rocking and possibly capsizing the boat.

Perhaps the greatest miscalculation that lovers make is to believe that they can satisfy all of each other’s needs. The intensity of their love is such that they find it difficult to believe that this isn’t possible.

In time, they learn that there are needs that they cannot satisfy. A man who is deep into his career falls in love. The woman believes she can replace his interest in his job, which takes him out of town so often. She believes that their love will convince him to change his work situation in order to remain close to her. After all, they do love each other so deeply. She is later surprised to learn that he does not share her thinking. He feels he can go on in his present situation and still keep the fires of their love burning. In short, he isn’t willing to compromise on this issue because what he is doing is too important to him. She feels hurt because she believes he sees his job as more important than her desire to keep him close to her.

Meanwhile, he wants her to quit her job and to take care of the kids when they marry. He believes that a woman’s place is the home. She, however, does not share his thinking. She won’t give up her job because she finds it a whole lot more growth-giving than staying at home and getting bored. Besides, she is convinced that she can still give quality time to her children.

I remember my wife, Emmy, telling me before I married her 28 years ago that she would not be kept at home, but insisted that I should allow her to work. She got her way. I knew that her work was vitally important to her and that, much as I loved her, I could not hold her at home without damaging our love. I was a poor substitute as far as her work was concerned.

Young lovers quickly learn that there are many needs that their partners have that they cannot satisfy. This often comes as a shock, a rude awakening to the realities of life, of love.

It’s important to understand this soonest when one gets into a relationship. Some lovers will try to change each other’s needs to suit themselves. This rarely works.

Perhaps it will for a while, but later on, when the gloss and the glow of new love wears off and reality sets in, the partners will eventually give in to their yearnings and look to satisfy them.


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