So, last time in the Saturday column we touched on the topic of values, but, as my editor says, you can write about this all your life and still not tell the main thing.
As long as our values are outside of ourselves, we have nothing to rely on in a situation of choice. And especially strongly, the earth from underneath leaves in times of turbulence, when supports are so needed. And then we rush with a vengeance in search of someone who could satisfy our existential hunger, at best – sharing our values, but more often simply shifting the focus of attention from me to another. Then something is not so wrong with me, but with another. And then the game begins. You can “save” for an infinitely long time, look for a “rescuer”, begin to “pursue” yourself and change roles so that this game continues and protects you from contact with reality and yourself.
An adult person always has a good contact with his values, which will allow creating harmonious relations with the world. If we are talking about romantic relationships, then a strong foundation for them will be a coincidence in such basic values as attitude to children, money, religion, sex, marriage, politics, and your interaction with the world in general.
Do you know for sure whether you want children? If so, how much? Will you have one child, two, or “how much God will send”? One partner sits with a child, and the other provides? Or do you both take parental leave? How do you raise children? Do you punish them? Make friends or keep your distance? Are you raising both or one? Grandparents help or you do not allow to interfere? Are you ready for adoption or is it critical that your child be genetically yours?
Money. How do you earn them? If this is a heterosexual couple, should a man earn more? Can a woman earn more? Is it important at all who earns more? Are you putting it off or are you wasting? How much do you spend comfortably and for what? Do you have a common budget or each has its own?
Does your couple have a place for religion? What about faith? Do you go to church or laugh at the icons on a taxi dashboard? If you go, which one? If you have children, will you observe the rites of converting them to this or that faith, or will they give them the opportunity to decide for themselves when they grow up?
Is sex important to you? Do you both want to experiment and there is nothing forbidden in bed? Or sex is not the main and most important thing is tenderness and respect? If you lose attraction, will you work on it, or you just need to take this change for granted? Is it important for you to seduce, be seduced, or change roles? Do you think sex with another partner is cheating or is this permissible?
Do you need to formalize your relationship? What do you expect from marriage? After it, does everything change or does everything remain as it was? Do you sign a prenuptial agreement or does it violate your trust? Do you live in a guest marriage, an open marriage, or do not spend a single vacation separately? When your parents are old, do they live with you or separately? If you feel bad in marriage, do you speak honestly or remain silent until death do you part?
Politics is almost like a religion. Is politics being discussed in your house? Is it important who to vote for? Do you vote for one candidate / party or everyone as you want? In the case of political unrest, revolution, war – do you stay or leave? Do you allow the other to have excellent choices or is it important to act as a united front?
What kind of couple are you? How do you interact with the world? Is your house always open for guests? Or is it a quiet, secluded place for two? You go out a lot or is it important for you to hide your relationship? Do you trust the world and consider it friendly or are you closed and careful?
You may have different answers to these questions, and this is not necessarily a problem. Until this becomes a fundamental difference. For example, if one wants a lot of children, and the other wants a childfree. This is problem. But if, say, one of you, the Muslim faith, and the other is an atheist. This is problem? No, if an atheist can respect the needs of his partner in religion, and a religious one can not impose his faith.
This, of course, is far from the whole list, and each of us has something else that is extremely important, perhaps more important than the above. But a mismatch on these basic things destroys any alliance. When we meet someone, we often think that we are very similar. And when we find differences, we believe that the partner will change or that love will conquer everything. Love is too fragile, it needs to be protected, surrounded by protection from common meanings, and not peeled with it like a hammer on the anvil, “forged” from another steel lifebuoy, with which you will drown only faster.
Read also: Saturday column: The value of loneliness, or How important it is to learn to love yourself