“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy,
absentminded. Someone sober
will worry about things going badly.
Let the lover be.” -Rumi
The most recent (extremely privileged) piece which I published – The Relationship Theater – generated quite a bit of private conversation. All but one of which was in favour of its premise; some couples who had already shifted to this structure, others who wish they could, and finally those who are planning to do so in future. A long-time reader asked me if this older piece below still stood. Of course it does. The Relationship Theater isn’t counter commitment, and it most certainly isn’t anti-marriage. What it is is a different possibility on a very old, and very challenging relationship architecture to many of us. (And to be extra clear, do note that I am equally looking forward to marriage or not, whatever is Written for me.)
Relationship Theater is my very personal roadmap to ensuring that the below is established and then always maintained. With the caveats that if ever one of us becomes sick, or we are no longer financially able, or one of our parents falls ill and we must take care of them, all of the below shifts without question. Ultimately, I am a hopeless romantic looking for the same, and if maintenance means shifting, so be it.
Also, if my relationship with my man morphs from a focus on the theater to whether or not he picked up the groceries and put out the garbage, I believe that a part of present me would feel very much suffocated. Maybe it is because I’ve not experienced it. Maybe I’d love nothing more than a man with Cheeto dust on his shirt, sat like a potato on our couch. All possibilities remain, and I reserve the right to change my mind if some fella makes me super excited about the groceries he did bring home and put away. Stay tuned!
And now, back to the original article –
Last week, I was chatting with a friend about the following subject and which — turns out — gets me very riled up: Not appreciating our partners. Not wanting to spend time with them. Not wanting to hang out with them in bed. Not wanting to just free fall into nothingness with the person with whom you’ve chosen to spend an exorbitant amount of time.
I said that if you are free and able to do so, but choose not to spend a few more moments, or an entire day or weekend in bed with your partner, then you probably shouldn’t be with them. That if you need outside static, and can’t pause to do nothing except be with this wo / man / both (because I am not here to judge), then there is something fundamentally at odds in your relationship and you should probably check out. But only after you have in good faith and ferociously attempted to bridge whatever divide obviously exists.
I was told this is a bold statement.
How? How is it a bold statement when sex and its own very particular language is one of the most important forms of communication between lovers?
Dearest seven readers, are we fighting? Am I too much the romantic fool?
I am usually a rational person, but often find myself wanting to pick up heavy objects and throw them around a room when I am made privy to the following: That someone has been blessed enough to partner, but they don’t appreciate it. That they don’t wake-up and choose their lover every single day – this being a key factor in a successful healthy relationship. (As Muslims, we are asked to remember our love for Allah five times a day; I believe that we absolutely must do the same with our lover. Daily daily daily. Else, a chasm is created and the taking for granted, and the letting go kick-in.)
I mean. How exciting is it to wake up to someone every morning? To have your neck nuzzled, your shoulder kissed, your hair held as a gentle way to wake up? How amazing is it to roll over and curl into someone? How can we take for granted waking up and finding next to us someone we really really like, who is not our mum?
Am I lunatic to think that we should do double duty to keep things adventurous and sexy and fun and imaginative? Please, please tell me if I am some sort of a crazy person.
Only before you do, let me state that I am 100% a connection/love fetishist. If ever I wake up in bed thinking “ugh, I can’t wait to roll out of here,” then this will serve as a massive flag that something is wrong.
Look. I get that it’s easy to idealize what we don’t have, and that some of you may be thinking that I may be this way because I haven’t had many relationships, and I am good with this. Yes, very few have been privy to the absolute inner workings of me, a privilege for both of us. I also don’t plan on changing this, because while this is not the case for many of you, and I respect that 100%, I fully understand it doesn’t work for me. I am far too intense to have this work for me.
The bastard lucky enough to get his hands on me long term? I will strap him to a bed for at least the first five years, because I have to make up for lost time. Moderation has never been my jam, and I am not good unless I am feasting. For me, anything less would have seen me married long ago. And survey says, very unhappy.
I have always believed that at the core of us is the need to connect, and this is reflected in Rumi’s poetry all of which is about re-unification with God; it is no surprise that it reads like a love story to the human condition, that Ecstasy (capital ‘E’) is most closely experienced by ecstasy (small ‘e’), and when viewed as such, why would I ever wish to squander it on just anyone?
Why would you?