They say every blessing comes with a curse; of course it does- I thought to myself while sipping on my skinny latte at Starbucks on a lazy Sunday afternoon, that I had decided to spend all by myself. As I looked around, all I could see was couples! There were the ‘cuddlers’ on the couch next to me who could really use a room. Then there were the ‘mushy talkers’ on the table right ahead of me who should have probably lowered their volume; and I’m unsure but it seemed like the couple on the table behind me was on a blind date. Surprisingly, there was one thing in common with all the three couples- All of them seemed immensely happy! And there it was- ‘The Curse of happy Couples’ which every blessed single person is doomed with.
Next day at work, as I opened my laptop, and my eyes (Monday morning blues!); I still found myself thinking about ‘The Curse’- My boss was happily married; my best friend was happily married; the guy who sat next to me had been dating his girlfriend for the past 10 years! I got to thinking, maybe the curse was real; maybe, all single people could see, was happy couples around them.
I was, however, quickly brought back to reality by my work BFF (we all have one!)- Aryan. He came to me to talk and seek my advice, as he had an ugly break up over the weekend. After talking to him for good 25 minutes, I was finally aware of the complete facts- it was ugly, but it wasn’t a break up!
Aryan and Raima had been dating for a couple of years now; and Aryan had always told me about how this was just casual and temporary and he couldn’t really hear the wedding bells ringing around Raima. She, on the other hand, was probably not aware of Aryan’s intentions or plans, and had fully invested in the relationship- like any other sane woman in her mid 20s would. And now, Aryan had been wanting to break up, since he always seemed troubled by the constant misunderstandings, fights, and of course the signature ‘Don’t go here, don’t go there!’ But Raima, was not one to let go- and thus, the ugly fight over the weekend.
I knew Raima as a smart, good looking and sensible woman; so I was really unsure why she was not letting Aryan go, even when he made it explicitly clear that he didn’t want to stay in the relationship. What was she thinking? Was she so deeply in love with Aryan that breaking up with him was something that seemed impossible to her? Or did she subconsciously fear being single? After all, as it’s projected, it’s a hopeless world out there for singles. Whatever it was that was keeping her from going through with the break up, it was surely making things difficult for Aryan who wanted to part ways amicably and not hurt her at all.
I wondered who was right in this case- Aryan, or Raima? Or were both of them wrong?- Aryan, for having taken things too casually and not having made that clear? Or, Raima for purposely keeping herself tied to Aryan when she knew he wanted to break free? Why do women do that at all? Over the past few years, I’ve seen numerous women who emotionally blackmail men to not leave them; women who purposely stay in unhappy relationships; women who are cheated on, but still stay with the guy; women who are not given the time and happiness they deserve, but still keep their relationships going.
Why do they do that? Is being single so much worse than being in an unhappy relationship? Are the everyday troubles of keeping a relationship alive not too much to handle? Is it all really worth the effort? And if we’re stuck in unhappy relationships, trying to make them work, won’t we miss out on the happy one just waiting round the corner? Is moving on so hard- even if it means having a chance at something better? Or was the fear too big? - The fear of not finding someone better, the fear of not being able to make it work and the fear of not being good enough.
Clouded with thoughts, I decided to speak with Raima to get some perspective. Turns out, she was hopelessly in love with Aryan; and because Aryan had made it explicitly clear that he wouldn’t be able to put up with excessive phone calls, texts and restrictions- she had decided to mellow it down a bit- thus, trying to make it work. I was surprised! Not only was this woman ready to work on this relationship in which she was forcedly holding her boyfriend; but she was also willing to change herself for it? How much was enough? How much were women willing to give for relationships? And why? What was the ultimate goal- happiness, right? And how would this give Raima, or anyone any happiness?
My advice to Raima was simple and it applies for all the women in this world- who are struggling to make their relationships work; who are putting in a lot of effort and are putting up with a lot of crap- just to keep their relationships going- STOP IT! Yes, stop it! Stop settling; Stop giving your complete self to someone who’s only willing to give you only half of theirs; Stop putting up with wrong behaviour, or actions; Stop being okay with being mistreated; Stop changing yourself for someone else; Stop questioning yourself about your relationship; Stop being ruled by the society’s norms; Stop trying to make it work!
Having said that- ‘Don’t go here, don’t go there’ is never healthy in a relationship. Learn to trust your man, and trust that if he says he’s at work, he’s at work; if he says he’s just friends with that colleague, he’s just friends. Try to be supportive of your partner’s goals, and dreams, and aspirations; instead of weighing him down and holding him back by burdening him with mistrust. Love shouldn’t have to be proved- remember that! Be his girlfriend, not Sherlock Holmes. But also, know when it’s time to walk out; know when the door has shut; know when it’s over- at least when he says it! You deserve better!
And the one that truly deserves you and your wonderful self is out there! He’s perhaps late, but he’s coming for you; and he doesn’t want you to put yourself through all of this. So take out the scissors and cut the chords to the unhappy relationship that you’re in. Leave the man who doesn’t want to be with you. Give yourself a chance at happiness, because that’s what you deserve! And most importantly, talk about your problems and issues to your single friends. It might help you understand that being single is not that bad- it’s at least, nothing to be afraid of. And it also might help your single friend deal with ‘The Curse’- knowing that life isn’t a bed of roses for people who’re dating too; understanding that there are problems out there, for everyone alike.
As I went to bed that night, with my ‘Happy Couples Curse’ broken for good; I wondered if the one that truly deserved me was around already; Or was he trying to get out of an unhappy relationship which a woman was holding him in? Or was he this guy at work I have a crush on? Or was he this mysterious guy I spent my days and nights talking to these days? Or was he the one my parents were eyeing on Shaadi.com? Guess I’ll have to wait to find out; and while I wait- a little flirting shall go a long way!