“Men and women shouldn’t even be together. Whoever has invented this idea, was wrong, because we think so differently!” – this is what I’ve recently heard from one of my female friends who is in a relationship.

Good point, I thought. On the other hand, is this not a key to creating something complete?

Harmonious relationships, based on mutual respect, trust and transparency demand responsibility and constant compromises. That’s why they’re so difficult to build and maintain.

Up to hundred years people needed to get together in order to survive. The options for choosing partners were limited and people were more open, I suppose, for an idea of falling in love. The partners were chosen in their own communities, often, a marriage was arranged by family. There was not much room for sophistication amongst available options for ‘the right one’ and freedom to live on our own terms.

Nowadays, the need for being in a relationship in order to survive seems to appear invalid. Perhaps this is beneficial as the circumstances we live in, allow us to get into a relationship out of willingness to be in one. That itself, should take away the pressure of rushing into mistaken constellations with people with whom we aren’t simply compatible.

That’s in theory. In practice, we witness a number of people struggling with conflicts in their relationships, even, if at the start it seemed like they were meant for each other.

Diverting from relationships values, there is an important cultural aspect to be considered.

In my observation, the behaviors vary in different cultures. Meanwhile in Western-Northern Europe women seem to be a bit more content with themselves and less afraid of being single, Polish women are mostly determined for having a relationship, as it is one of the biggest values in their society. It would be unfair to compare them to their Western peers as the historical and religious background significantly differs from the one in Western Europe.

Let’s stick in a specific timeframe, so this comes out accurate:

Starting from XIX century, when Western women took first steps activities for women’s rights, Polish women stayed home alone raising children and making ends meet meanwhile their men were either fighting in uprisings, ending in prisons, or on exile. There is hardly any Polish family to be found without at least one man who was political or war victim.
This obviously involves mine too. Many of men who survived, tried to stifle the traumas they’ve been through with alcohol. They fathered sons who copied them. A decent man became a precious commodity, hard to be found. That decreased the ladies’ expectations and up to now, we hear when women say “I have a man”. 

When I listen to my friends from the UK talking, I hear “I am seeing someone” , “We are going out”. “I have a husband” is a rather rare statements and usually it’s a response to an open question about family matters. People don’t ‘have’ each other, they are together. That’s the difference which when overlooked, may create conflict.

You simply can’t have people. You can be with them by your choice.

“Men don’t want to get into relationships nowadays” – said my other friend recently. I asked her: “What for?”

When two people click and are mature enough to understand and demonstrate that love isn’t just a strong feeling based on chemistry running through brain, that can be a good beginning. The next step is a decision, promise and commitment and that’s when the ride starts.

Realtionships, be or not to be? Be in, not have one.

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