Who do you talk to about relationship woes?
BENGALURU: The question we are asking today is this: Who do you tell when you are falling in love?
If we go by the movies and popular stories, then there is usually a best friend with whom one shares all these feelings, moaning and groaning over the object of one’s attractions, plucking away at petals of flowers and other such tropes. Perhaps a sibling or a parent.
Or even a mentor – a teacher or a patron. That’s all quite easy-peasy when you are a single person mingling around. What if you are falling in love with someone, when you already are in a relationship? Is it as easy to share what one is feeling with a friend or a sibling or a parent, or anybody else? What, especially, if your existing relationship isn’t terrible in the first place? What does that mean for the first relationship – does one go ahead and share this feeling with the partner? Is the partner even supposed to be able to hear all this and be all accommodating? Is that even fair to expect such a thing?
Unless one is very clear about their polyamorous inclinations and have worked that out with their partner, situations such as what we are talking about are extremely sticky.
For some of us, the very idea of falling in love with a second person while continuing to having a loving relationship seems unlikely. “They must not have had a strong-enough relationship in the first place,” we might say, or: “This is an infatuation. The seven-year itch, perhaps,” or even, “What a horrible person this one turned out to be! To have strung poor so-and-so along all this time to just dump this news on them now! I know which side I am going to be on, and who I will call for my parties!” It might be any of those situations, and yet could it be that one has discovered a deeper, more meaningful love than what currently exists?
Is love a yes-no button, where either you are in it with a person or you are out of it with nobody? Or is love a spectrum where you love A to such-and-such depth, and along comes B with whom you find love a lot deeper, and maybe C sometime later?
Is it possible that connect with someone quite deeply and be very much in love, and then quite unexpectedly discover a deeper love that we cannot ignore?
The romantic tragedies written with a “It is not you, it is me,” plot often look at love at such a spectrum. It is a really painful place to be in when this happens. “How could you have not known? Didn’t you see any warning signals?”
Friends might ask when the news breaks, and there might just not have been any that one could have picked up. No warning signals, nothing – just the random asteroid that suddenly plummeted into Earth.
What do you do at such times? Work through it. It is messy, maybe – but It isn’t necessarily a personal failing.