It was Shel Silverstein's fault. Well, Shel Silverstein and my own filter of rapid growth toward self-actualization years ago. I was recently viewing "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O" and it hit home rather hard.
The nature of relationships is so very automatic, we in society rarely question it - not that it doesn't work for a great many people, but it certainly isn't a mold that fits everyone all the time. Yet the belief that pursuing a relationship which adheres to societal configuration as the road to happiness is inaccurate - configurations don't create happiness, people do; joy does. Mutual understanding and respectful behavior are the underpinnings of happiness in any relationship. Societal configuration in fact can appear as a woefully inadequate to those of us who have peered at it with a critical eye - the serial nature alone of which should surely be indicative of its systemic failure - yet we turn a blind eye again and again, engaging in the same ineffective protocols expecting different results each time - assuming we've somehow failed to choose the right partner and never considering the framework (or society at large) may have failed us. Surely duty over self-motivated intrinsic enjoyment of another's company is not a sustainable course of action, but don't look at me, just look around.
We are all indoctrinated with at least two ridiculous ideas concerning relationships. The first, that each of us have only "one true love," and the second, that when we find them, we absolutely must follow a step-by-step escalation in order to legitimize that relationship. The most common argument for willfully (for those of us who have questioned it) stepping aboard an acknowledged relationship escalator (<-- excellent read) likely revolves around stability - a foundation, a structure that won't change quickly, if at all. Hence partners in traditional relationships promise each other things will remain the same between them for eternity (or death, according to the vows of the State in the eyes of [favorite deity]) by binding themselves to one another. A quick look around any family in any neighborhood belies the effective truth of this.
So why do it? Perhaps we want to believe it. Perhaps it comforts us, if even for a moment. Perhaps we've bought into the biologically inconsistent puritanical societal indoctrination by first challenging it, then agreeing with it. Or perhaps, and more likely, we never knew it could be challenged; should be challenged. Despite this, we still want to maintain longevity, illusion or not. Yet this arrangement is often (not always) precarious because it discounts that which can spiral us out of control as fast as any external trauma - that being, personal growth. When we leave room for personal growth in any relationship, it is an admission that circumstances may at some point demand either our relationship, or its configuration, be susceptible to change. In this, flexibility and adaptability become paramount, not the rigid silo of vows. This would be especially important in interdependent relationships, the successful stability of which lies not within state-sanctioned ceremonial precepts, rather highly fluid frameworks of self-supporting ideals - ideals in which their very nature in turn support themselves. Simply put, transparency in dialog, inclusion at every crossbar, constant reevaluation without provocation, and the very basic understanding that growth is change. Evaluate and improvise to accommodate one another with love. Obligation never motivated anyone.
There are those who are are drawn to my curiosity as an intimacy-seeker, as I am drawn to them; I thrive with them and they with me. We feed upon one another. But the moment we try to own each other, would it snuff out that to which we were drawn? Would it change the game by keeping us from ever-expanding? Would that to happen, what would be left of the relationship? What if relationship security was actually in the unwavering love and support of the two beings, and not their configuration? Where then would the societal legitimization get its face? I can only guess it manifests as happiness.
This entire post led me to discover the perceived vehemence behind it, for I am not against engaging in societal configurations where relationships are concerned at all, I just never want to hurt anyone else ever again due to any personal growth I may experience - especially if they are unwilling or unable to accompany me on the journey.