What is your motive for being in a relationship?

It might seem a simplistic question and you might be tempted to answer, “Love, of course! I really want to love and be loved.

Published: 21st January 2020 06:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2020 06:24 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Are you in a relationship or looking for one out of fear, or for love? Or is there something else that is driving you to see yourself in a relationship?

It might seem a simplistic question and you might be tempted to answer, “Love, of course! I really want to love and be loved. Nothing else matters,” and you might even feel offended at being asked the question. No offence intended, needless to say, but still, this is a question worth lingering on and answering as honestly as possible, without judging fear as some tainted motive and exhorting love as a superior motive to enter into a relationship. 

Our motives for anything are rarely simple. Even for an ordinary thing like taking a walk in the park, the motivations can be quite complex. It might be a bit of hope of bumping into someone, guilt at having binged on biryani and whatever else the previous night, fear of getting unfit, embarrassment at someone having called out one’s panting after climbing three flights of stairs, or even just joy because you saw the pink Tabubeia is in full bloom when driving home and the child in you wants to go and rejoice in its seasonal glory, make yourself a small bouquet of it. Motives could be quite sinister as well, like wanting to show down a sibling, wanting to peep into a neighbor’s bedroom and have an excuse for walking that way. 

Given that, is it hard to imagine that our motives for wanting to be in a relationship can be a jumble of different things?
We want such contradicting things at times. We want freedom and independence, and yet we also want to be accountable. We work at different ends of the same continuum at the same time – we may be totally scared, and yet also have some sense of confidence. We might feel clever and yet do foolish things, and there is hardly any other aspect where these contradictions are seen as they are in feelings of love and longing. 

We might be so scared of being alone forever and yet also be determined to not just get married for the sake of it. We might want to really get to know a person very well before getting into bed with them, but at the same time, friend-zone everyone we don’t get into bed within a week or so. Sometimes, this idea of love is a perfectly miraculous thing that magically balances seemingly impossible drives and impulses.

It is like a free-standing found art or sculpture of stones and shells you might find on a beach that someone has casually balanced into a little gem. It feels at once so precious and at the same time so ordinary. You don’t know whether to knock it down or to try and build your own It is that near-disbelief that all our complicated and conflicting drives and impulses can somehow be met by actual, real people, that makes love and relationships quite intense, special, fragile, strong and everything paradoxical. The author is a counsellor with InnerSight.

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