I’ve never believed in fighting to make a relationship with a significant other work, because I believe that two people should want to be together, and it should not be forced or coerced into happening. For some reason, I thought that these types of relationships should just happen if they were meant to happen, and having to try to make a relationship work is a siren that both parties should just move on. It should just be “easy”.
But then I thought about every other area in my life: my friendships, my career, even my non-medical passions. I pursue each rigorously and proactively, both because I want to and because I have to in order to make it work. I forced myself to study for the MCAT because I want to be a doctor so badly that I knew this hoop was worth jumping through. I try my best to regularly Skype with friends not in Montreal because my friends are amazing and well worth the scheduling and technological difficulties. I can sacrifice weeks of my life to getting ready to perform in a show because it’s fun and I know the results will be spectacular.
So why would pursuing a relationship with a partner be any different? Why did I think that this type of relationship would not require effort and work and commitment?
One of my very good friends told me that one of the goals she wrote down explicitly is to seriously pursue the finding of a partner. It was something I never considered could even be a goal, because it’s not something in my control. It’s not like my goal of getting into med school, which I have a clear application path for. I can’t apply to have a significant other, and I don’t know when I will meet this person. I like organization and structure. I don’t like messiness and things that are out of my control, and relationships, almost by definition, are out of my control.
I always thought relationships should just “happen naturally”, so it’s not up to me. It’s up to opportunity and fortune, like the chance that any two particles in a container would touch randomly.
But then I am reminded of the famous quote by Henry Hartman: “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.”
Yes, I can’t control when I will find the right person to be with, but that does not preclude me from understanding who I am so that I can understand who may complement me in a relationship. It doesn’t preclude me from allowing myself to be open to the possibility of being in a relationship, whatever that preparation may mean for me.
So I realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a directed goal to be in a relationship. I think that goal has always existed, but for a lot of reasons, I’ve been too scared to admit it out loud to myself.
I made this whole big to-do about Facebook relationship statuses a few blog posts ago, and I still don’t think that I will post my relationship status for various reasons, but I think a big part of that post arose from my fear of actively pursuing a long-term relationship and being rejected in the process. So if I never announce it to the world, I never set myself up for failure and embarrassment.
If I never try to make a relationship work, I can just say that it was never meant to work out when it falls apart.
But I think I may be ready for that to end. I may be ready for a paradigm shift.
Ready to be ready for the messiness and chaos that is trying to make a relationship work, because, as cliche as it is, “everything worth having is [indeed] worth fighting for”.