“My mother was right. When you have nothing left, all you can do is to get into silk underwear and start reading Proust” – Jane Birkin
What is your “Quarantine-Read”? My neighbors don’t seem to read. Yesterday, they had a huge fight. Their window was open. So was mine. Being stuck inside is getting to everyone eventually I guess. The woman: “I CANNOT believe I got married to you! I must have been completely drugged up! YOU SUCK! I want a DIVORCE!” The man: “I would leave right now, but I cannot. I AM STUCK HERE WITH YOU, F*** you, Corona!” (Ha! Not the wifey’s name!)
When I think about romance, I think of two kinds of relationships: the “opposite attracts” and the “kindred spirits” relationships. The former is the classic, the one we are taught to aspire to as kids. This couple is made up of two opposites, centered around the passion and attraction that mystery causes. We are curious about and drawn to other beings because of their dissimilarities to ourselves. It makes sense to be fascinated by our counterparts, and we can learn a lot by hanging out with our opposite. Not to mention the biological sense behind falling in love with someone physically different from us to have happy, healthy, genetically mixed babies with. I like to be with my “kindred spirit”. I am sure this type of relationship has been around for as long as the “opposite attract” version, but it seems to be going through a renaissance. In a society where feminism is becoming mainstream, and where equality is slowly starting to be valued over tradition, a new type of #relationshipgoals is natural.
For those of us who care very little about tradition and gender, and a lot more about self-realization and freedom of societal demands, a romance is less about who opens the door for whom and who picks up the check on the date. Instead, it is more about being heard and seen and encouraged and wanted. For you. Not for the typical properties of your gender. To be honest, I never want to be treated as The Woman of the relationship. I want to be treated as Daniela – an equal. And when I look at my partner, I don’t see the man/the woman. I see my partner. I see a person I am passionately in love with. I couldn’t care less about his masculinity/femininity. I still wonder what that could possibly have to do with anything? At all?
When I look at my partner I want to see my teammate and my coach. My manager and best friend, my personal trainer and my inspiration. I want to see someone who’s got my back (no pun intended, stupid pinched nerve) and makes me feel courageous. I want to see a capable, beautiful, fascinating human being whom I cannot get enough of, but sometimes get completely fed up with. This type of relationship might not be for everyone, but it works for me. A partner and I are still two people, but we would share one life. Crazy, no? We would sometimes get on each other’s nerves, argue, and make up after. But we always communicate. I want someone who, whatever my next semi-brilliant idea will be, won’t ask why? He will ask why not.
Here some ideas for the making of a happy relationship. Just in case you need it. Again, being stuck at home calls for a lot of thinking. Don’t kill your significant other just yet.
Don’t fear change. In this crazy time, this is very important. Things change. Situations change. It is vital that the person I am with is not holding me back or is scared of me changing and trying new things. It can be terrifying to see people you love move in a new direction, but it is all about trust.
Learn how to fight properly. We all get annoyed and stressed out. Even if we don’t want to, it happens. There is no perfect couple, but there are happy couples. Those are the ones who respect each other enough to never get out of line and become truly mean. No name-calling, issue threats or ultimatums or go after each other’s sore spots on purpose. Even when arguing, I want to know that my partner is not out to hurt me. Also, happy couples are good at apologizing and forgiving. If there is real love for one another, it is easy to move on.
Having the same rhythm. This could mean anything from being on the same page with our views and philosophies or what my dreams and hopes are. How much hang-out time versus alone time we need or how we both get inspired by the same movies, books etc. The more I am feeling the same beat, the easier things will be. Not that you cannot have a happy relationship with someone you are completely different from (loves tomatoes/detests tomatoes). I believe you can. Whatever works for you. I am sharing what works for me.
Miscellaneous things that come to my mind: Ask questions. All of them, even the tough ones. Then listen attentively. Take your partner for a long walk. Reconnect. Look at things together. Sometimes that is all it takes. Surprises: little gifts, spontaneous date nights. Start something together: gym, train for something, courses. Whatever adventure you embark on, make it yours and dream big. Obviously, respect the basics: honesty, loyalty, trust, and adoration. Show them you love them. Telling isn’t enough. Kitchen sessions, meaning: Spend quality time in the kitchen, give them a glass of wine and a kiss. And chocolate. Then talk about stuff. For hours. Put on some music, cook together. Repeat once every two weeks. Tell them you love them. Showing it isn’t enough.
Conquer the world together. Simple, isn’t it?