Don’t you think today’s generation treats relationships very casually? ‘A’ asks out ‘B’ on Monday, they go on their first date on Tuesday, they go to first, second and third base on Wednesday, they have misunderstandings on Thursday, they fight on Friday, break up on Saturday, Grieve on Sunday and start dating someone else on Monday. This endless dating cycle goes on and on. People change their partners as often as they change their clothes! Is this healthy for an individual? And sometimes, despite the need for a change, people cling on to each other for pseudo security and social status or whatever other reasons they have. Let’s find out about the different types of relationships that exist through the following case studies of people I personally know and you might know them too (not the same person, but the same type), or be one of them:
The Break Up-Patch Up Relationship (A.K.A. On-Off Relationship): How often do you hear that friend of yours come upto you and say, “We broke up last night. And this time it’s final!” All you do is nod, sigh and listen to your friend blabbering incoherently about his/her partner’s vices. You know better than to offer any advice because you know that before long his/her partner will call and apologize and they will get back together. The break up-patch up couple is the one which has many deep rooted issues with each other but the individuals are too attached to let go of the relationship, even if it could be for a better future. They believe that it is love that pulls them back together but 95% of the times, it is not love but habit. “I miss him. I miss our phone-calls and those ice-cream dates, all those hugs and kisses. I love him. What do you say, should I call him?” are some of the usual dialogues after a day or two of the break up. Finally, they cannot resist their habit of talking with each other and make up. But again, after a week, they quarrel and break up. In such relationships, the dependency on your partner increases with each patch up. People are ready to go through the same mental and/or physical abuse just to satiate their thirst for the other. It is like nicotine addiction. You know it’s bad for you, but you still smoke every day. But there is another face of this coin — people may mature after a break up and mend their ways so they can make their partner happy after a patch up. I hope that these famous celebrity couples apply the positive side to their relationship: Rihanna and Chris Brown (physical abuse), Selena Gomez and Justin Beiber (I don’t even want to name the reasons), Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Dissick (alcoholism), Katy Perry and John Mayer (cheating).
Love-Hate Relationship: We all have either heard, seen or experienced ourselves being in such a relationship where one moment you and your partner are hurling abuses or objects at each other with the intent to hurt the other and the next moment you are kissing violently to make up for your behavior. ‘I hate you, like I love you’, the last song from the bollywood film ‘Delhi Belly’ describes this relationship closely. A love–hate relationship may develop when people have completely lost the intimacy within a loving relationship, yet still retain some passion for, or perhaps some commitment to, each other, before degenerating into a hate-love relationship leading to a break up. Eminem’s music video ‘Love the way you lie’ featuring Rihanna portrays the story of a young couple who love and hate each other so much that in the end they set their own house on fire and are consumed by their love and hate. Eminem in his real life is in such a relationship with his on and off wife Kimberly Scott. Rihanna and Chris Brown fall in this category too because one moment they are love drunk with each other and the next moment they are abusing each other on social networks (and behind closed doors!). A love–hate relationship has been linked to the occurrence of emotional ambivalence in early childhood; to conflicting responses by different ego states within the same person; or to the inevitable co-existence of egoistic conflicts with the object of love. Narcissists have been seen as particularly prone to aggressive reactions towards love objects. Studies suggest that love–hate relationships may be the result of poor self-esteem. Wow! So now these couples can say that it is not their fault they are this way!
Co-dependent And Independent Relationship: Do you have a friend who keeps cancelling the plans you both had made months ago so that he/she can spend time with their partner? He/she may be in a co-dependent relationship. One or both of them cannot function properly without each other. They go out of the way to spend time with each other like cancelling important plans with friends or family. The opposite of this kind of relationship is the independent relationship in which the two of them don’t know how or don’t want to compromise for the relationship. Love takes a backseat and both put their careers ahead of each other. They only meet up when it is convenient. They may live together but hardly spend time together or talk to each other even.
Dominating relationship: Familiar with the phrase, “Your wish is my command”? in this relationship, one is Aladdin, who is big and bad, and the genie, who is very submissive. Do you have a friend who has deleted all her male friends from her facebook profile, changed her number and talks only to her boyfriend? It is not because she is removing temptation from her life or showing her dedication towards her boyfriend. It is actually because she does whatever he says. Either he has hypnotized her or he intimidates her in some way. This is why she does exactly what he says. She changes the way she dresses, eats, sleeps, hangs out with other people, talks, walks, blinks, basically anything he tells her to. If he tells her to severe her ties with a friend because he does not like him or her, she does not question his judgement and stops talking to the chosen friends. And one by one she loses all her friends. A relationship where one person is dominating cannot work for long unless the recipient of the authority is a doormat. But after this kind of a relationship is over, she is lonely because she gave top priority to him and neglected all her friends. Sad situation, eh?
Rebound Relationship: Are you familiar with the term rebound used in basketball? It is that shot you take after you missed scoring a basket. From this popular sport, the theory of rebound relationships has been derived. After a recent heartbreak, people like to jump into bed with a new person so that they don’t have to feel the emotions that they are going through. But it is just a distraction from the pain that is felt after a break up. It’s a quick fix, one in which we can drown out our pain by reveling in the emotional intensity and passion of a new found love. But this distraction does not work for long because firstly how long can you repress the trauma of your breakup. Secondly, while in a rebound, you are actually searching for all the things your ex was not and in the process you don’t realize who the person you are dating is really. It is also a painful separation for the reboundee if they get attached to the rebounder.
Open or Casual relationships: Is it really possible to be emotionally and physically intimate with multiple people? It might sound like a picnic to the people who like to have multiple partners and like sharing STDs. But to a reasonable, logical person, this kind of relationship does not seem much like one. But in this modern era, many people get into these and obviously, it does not work for long, because both the parties are not that emotionally invested.
Toxic and Abusive relationships: In a toxic relationship, the attraction between the couple is sky high but their differences are even higher. They either fight with each other or do the deed! It leaves one feeling emotionally, mentally and physically immobile. It’s like drug addiction: the highs are too good to quit it and the lows are just too depressing. Do you know someone who turns up with bruises to work and tries to hide it behind her big sunglasses? Or have you ever overheard a conversation between a couple where one of them abuses the other verbally to torment him/her emotionally? Or do you have a friend who comes to you crying almost every day and tells you that everything she does makes him angry and she believes it is actually her fault? Well, guess what, this is what an abusive relationship feels like. And if the abused one is sane, he/she will dump the abusers sorry ass and move on.
Friends With Benefits Relationship: Everyone has either heard of or seen the movie with the same title as this relationship or seen the other one like this named ‘No strings attached’. Both these movies are based on the concept of two people who are just friends and have no more emotional attachment to each other than between friends but mutually agree to engage in coitus repeatedly. They are tired of having their hearts broken by their previous partners. Hence, they decide to keep physical pleasures from affecting their heart. In the end they both fall in love with each other and live happily ever after. Yeah, that does not work in real life all the time. In most cases, FWBs end in a wrecked friendship. Most college going kids think this is a wise way to get some without having to get it from strangers. And when a better person walks into one of their lives, this arrangement is over.
Long Distance Relationships: An LDR is a sad relationship which leads to heartbreak in majority of cases. For a detailed piece, refer to my previous article named ‘Cons of being in an LDR’. Here is the URL: http://kickofjoy.com/cons-long-distance-relationship/
So what do you gather from all of this? There is nothing wrong about being in a relationship. But being single is better than being in an injudicious relationship. Undoubtedly, one has to experiment with different flavours of ice cream before settling on their favourite one. So get into relationships, all kinds of them are available, make mistakes, learn from them and when you find yourself in the right relationship, live happily ever after!