Sunday, May 09, 2010


There was a song by The Pretenders that my baby sister used to love. I’m not sure what the title was but it’s got a line that says ‘there’s a thin line between love and hate’. It took me forever to really understand what that meant but when it finally made sense, I realized that there is a thin line between a lot of things really.

It’s there all the time in relationships. The boundary of this thin line is most tested in crisis and how far we decide to push it solidifies or dissolves the line, neither of which are good. Relationships are a tricky thing to master. The only relationships we find ourselves in that requires more effort to pull away from is family relationship, anything else requires effort to REMAIN in it.

Someone said to me once that the older he got, the more defined his idea of ‘the one’ became and the more difficult it was to find her. I had asked him then if it probably was because he had become more critical and demanding with the passing of time and he assured me that it was the contrary. To a certain extend I agree with him. We learn from our experiences, certain experiences leave us wanting a replay, others leave us swearing never again, so yes, I suppose we get a clearer picture of what thrills or pisses us as we grow older.

However, I do not believe age has anything to do with common sense when it comes to deciding when and where to push our luck. Being in a relationship is all about decision. There is always the basic reason why we were drawn to the person in question and almost all the time, that basic reason has very little to do with logic, but it is good enough to make us decide we want to know them more, hoping of course to make them a part of our lives. But give it a little time and we’ll begin to see that this awesome person is human after all (full of flaws). Now this is the point where an important decision comes to play - do we want to hang around long enough to understand if the flaw if acquired and can be shed off or if it is an in build part of this person? And if so, is it something we can (or want to) live with?

Everyone has two lists of things to decide to stand or not - The list that is about the other person’s flaw - does he slurp his soup? Does he pick his nose? Is he good looking enough? Is he rude and crude…etc, then there is the other list, about this person’s flaws in relation to you. Does he criticize you all the time? Does he use you as his punch bag when something or someone else upsets him? Does he put you down to make himself feel better about his flaws? …etc

Sometimes we tell ourselves, I can put up with that even if I don’t like it because it will help me understand him better. That is just being in denial. There are a lot of ways to understand a person without putting up with their bad behaviour, ESPECIALLY if it is in the slightest disrespectful to you. If he starts off being disrespectful now, trust me, you don’t want to hang around to see what he’d do when he’s caught you in his net.

If he picks a fight with you because he is upset about something else that has nothing to do with you and you put up with that, no matter how understanding you think you are being (hey, we all get upset and misbehave and should be graceful to our loved ones when they get that way….right?), you are only helping in dissolving the line between respecting you and being able to be themselves and remain true to their emotions. What that does is, the offence will get bigger and more frequent until one day you cannot see the line at all…..on the other hand, you ought to be able to accommodate a person’s negative emotions. You don’t want him being afraid of showing his frustration before you because you’d take it the wrong way. The balance here is making him understand that as long as HE can see the line between being frustrated at something else before you AND still know it has nothing to do with you. He can break all the plates he wants.

Tricky situation isn’t it? What I am saying is that each boundary line is personal and each person has to decide for themselves what they are willing to put up with. It is important though to remember that when a behaviour gives you a bad feeling. No matter how small it is (compared to the bad feeling you got from it). DO NOT IGNORE IT. One day you’d pat yourself on the back and say “good job (Naan)”. Trust me, that’s a lot better than finding yourself in a situation that would require years of healing and possible therapy to be normal enough to cope again.

So look out for those thin lines and MIND THEM.


Dojle74 said...

This is one of those posts written by you that I really enjoy reading. Your analyze of relationships is spot on. You need to crash and burn before you learn to fly.

Juliet said...

It is impossible to live and not relate with people.I think we always get it wrong because we have not learn t to relate with ourselves first. Everyone is a seeker and somehow think we need other people to affirm us, accept us and love us unconditionally.If we learn to do all that to our selves first, then we can go into relationships on our own terms and not have to put up with anything we don't deserve!

Naan Pocen said...

Boris, that's the sad truth - burn and crash before flying, just like the phoenix.

Juliet, it's a pity that often times we go through too many abuse and rejections before it finally hits us that the power to stop it from even starting in the first place is indeed within us!

David said...

Naan! I'm impressed! Very nicely written and well thought out. Relationships certainly have a lot to do with give & take, and that line will be stronger if it's a little bit flexible, but given too much strain, it's bound to snap. The trick is give a little slack now and again!

Naan Pocen said...

I totally agree David.