BENGALURU: Can love last? Can the excitement last? Is love destined to eventually break down into a steady but boring relationship, or just break apart like a disused bicycle? Can you engineer love to make it last?Let’s face it. Often times, in relationships, there are periods when one just doesn’t feel the love. It can be very short-lived, like in that stubborn way your partner says that they just will not come to your friend’s wedding - they think your friends are boring, needy or whatever.
It can be a more long-term thing, like when you have been together for months or years, and quite gradually, you look at each other, and you feel there is nothing you really want to talk about or share with the other. You are practically strangers – only, you know each other’s quirks and issues. You could, quite literally, order each other’s preferred meals off a restaurant menu, but you have no interest in each other.
There aren’t too many relationships that never go through a lull or a difficult time. In fact, if there is never such a moment, sooner or later, one might just wake up and wonder if they know the ‘real’ side of their partner, and if all they have seen is a facade.
We expect a certain degree of flaws in our partners. Nobody is perfect, we believe, and if everything seems perfect, sooner or later, our own disbelief acts up and we might get on a fact-finding mission, and more than likely, find some facts. If, on the other hand, there is nothing to fault in the relationship but it just has become a tired, repetitive affair and feels like it is in the same rut day in and day out, again there will quite likely be some internal trigger for one partner or the other to shake things up.
Often times, relationships go from being stable and well-established to seeming quite chaotic, only to again re-emerge with a new stability, or break up into different stable units in their own sense.
Relationships are like systems in that sense. As any engineer would argue, there are no perpetual systems that are absolutely self-contained and stable forever.
Change is inevitable. It can come from outside through some other force or event, or it might come from within – but it will happen. Unless there are self-regulating feedback looks built into the system, the system will collapse some time or the other. It might not be a big dramatic collapse, and just be a slow, steady decline into disrepair, but fail it will.
So, if relationships are systems essentially, can you really be an engineer and take a scientific approach to keeping your relationship well-oiled and running for ever? You can certainly try. Like with any engineered system, build sensors that are alive to any changes within or outside your relationship.Build strong feedback loops for the different parts in the system. Build in an ongoing maintenance model that checks and calibrates correction