This past weekend I learned that one of my friends has ended her engagement to her partner of 7 years, and with good reason. She moved all of her things out of the home they shared for 3 years. It's all over. She is handling it all admirably and I believe that in the end it will all be for the best, because well, it always is.
But the situation got me thinking. Just one month ago, I told my boyfriend that I only knew two rock solid golden couples that I knew I could count on. And my friend was one of those couples.
I went a bit loopy over hearing this news. I began wondering how i could be certain my own relationship would last if I could be so wrong in my intuitions about my friend's relationship. I mean, surely if certain "signs" are present in a relationship everything will turn out okay right? How am I supposed to know what a healthy, lasting relatinship is supposed to look like if nobody i know actually has one? It's like all this time I thought there was a map out there to get to a lasting, loving relationship and now I've found out that nobody ever knew how to get there.
I suppose I always thought that somebody had the answer. Somebody had that relationship that you're "supposed" to have. Somebody knew how to do things right. But everywhere you look people seem to be doing it wrong. Divorces happen. Relationships that seemed so right later break down. Even when people have been married for decades, you often wonder what exactly is making it work....they don't seem to be the epitome of happiness and contentment after having worked out their relationship over decades so it runs like a finely oiled machine sprinkled with displays of spontaneous affection. I mean, isn't that what we were always promised it would be like? What are we really aiming for if nobody has the answers and the perfect marriage we've been promised is some elusive creature that is rumoured to exist but rarely ever spotted?
I feel now, more than ever, that he and I as a couple, are truly set free from any anchors or moorings we may have had and we are on our own. We cannot look to anyone but ourselves for direction. I feel like he and I are on a boat together and we have no map and no destination but we are responsible for steering that boat. I have no examples, no comparisons, no precedents that can guide me. It is all up to heart. This feeling is at once frightening and liberating. We are own our own journey now, and while we can't look to others to guide us, we most certainly can be responsible for guiding ourselves.