Relationships teach us many things – to be compassionate, patient, accommodating. But they also teach us to not lose our individuality while being part of a collective whole. They are like intricately woven pieces of music, where each note and beat holds a unique value. But they come together as a whole. Relationships are like frequencies in music, people vibrate to each other’s frequencies, eventually ending up being compatible pairs, or not. But the contrast to music is that while a section can be deliberately made to sound melancholy, in relationships, there may be less space to accommodate ups and downs. Nevertheless, we do make space for them eventually, depending upon how clear we are about our own feelings towards, and perspective on, our relationships.
Take a step back
The biggest factor in any relationship is ‘emotion’, and there is always a certain degree of dependence between the two people. But it is also important to sometimes take a step back and reassess ourselves and decide if it is time to exercise some restraint. Well, that shouldn’t have to mean becoming aloof. It only means to check that we don’t transform ourselves into something that our partners would rethink being with.
Don’t become a deadweight
Of course, it is hard to not become over-involved, show that extra bit of love – it’s quite natural. But sometimes we need to understand that by doing so, we may, in fact, be restricting their space. They might be compelled to start looking a few years ahead and shudder at the thought of dragging along a deadweight.
What we miss out on very frequently is that relationships are meant to keep two persons together, not glued to each other’s backs. By trying to offer ourselves too much in relationships, we sometimes tend to become luggage that our partners shouldn’t have to lug around.
A routine check
But is it entirely wrong to become involved? Certainly not. Who wouldn’t want to surround their partner with affection? While that is well and fine, we also need to ensure that we don’t overstep the line and become excessively dependent. It is important that we preserve who we are. It’s not easy – we should conduct regular checks to know where we in a relationship and, if need be, step back and detach temporarily just to make sure we are neither being a burden nor being ‘pleasers.’
But that does not mean we should quit. It only means we stay committed, but step back a bit when needed. Emotional co-dependence is never good. It stifles people. So, we should be in our own ways and stay bonded, but not develop unreasonable expectations. Co-dependence does that, and it backfires massively. Instead, we should understand our partner’s perspective and build resilience to survive on our own and be happy and thankful for this life. Remember, it is easy to quit, but that’s not what detachment is about. On the contrary, it is the magic ingredient to a peaceful relationship.
Abhijit Chakraborty is a senior content editor at upGrad, a digital education organisation in India. He is also a mental health advocate.