May 17, 2013

About the 'Spark'

She held up a pack of Wai Wai chicken noodles with her left hand, and glanced at him. "Is this what you want?" She didn't need to actually say the words. He was waiting outside the shop. He blinked and nodded to indicate 'yes'. She made a V-sign with her right. "Two packs?" Blink and nod again. She turned to the cashier and paid for the noodles.

He was unwell and she'd taken the day off work to come and take care of him. It was a very ordinary, everyday kind of moment, but as he stood there watching her - he suddenly felt overwhelmed.  "This is true love." When two people understand each other, genuinely care and are grateful to have each other every moment of every ordinary day - then any one of them can become memorable!

It hadn't happened overnight. It had taken them three full years to get here. When they first met, the silences were awkward. Now they'd become comfortable and knowing. Along the way, they'd had many special moments. The first time they held hands, their first kiss, their first trip to a romantic destination. When he gave her roses and chocolates for Valentine's day. When she gave him a nice new cellphone on his birthday...

But it isn't really all about the gifts and the gimmicks, the songs and the speeches. Even in the greatest relationships, the special moments are few and far between, and life happens in the long gaps between them. That's when you can have the misunderstandings, the differences of opinions, incompatible choices, the power plays, the bickering, the indifference to other person's needs, wants or desires - that's when most relationships fizzle out, and that's why most people feel unhappy or unfulfilled.

A happy, successful couple cares and communicates. They understand each other  well - but getting there takes plenty of time and toil, which they invest. They could take each other for granted, but they don't. They cherish what they have, and they nurture it.

Sadly, most people expect their dream partner to drop from the heavens into their laps, and for everything to be magical from the first instant. The world would have you believe it's all about finding a special moment or feeling when you first meet. "When you meet the right person, you just know", "Something stirred deep inside", "We just clicked"... and so on. Most romantic tales are about love at first sight.

Well, in truth, that's a load of bullshit. That 'spark' people talk about is a mostly a myth, and highly over-rated. Sample these:

"I used to wonder why he's on my bus. I knew he worked in a different shift (hours). I thought he was weird. He asked me out to a movie, but I refused. This happened a couple of times before I finally agreed."

"This guy used to sit outside my college gate with a bunch of rascals who used to tease all the girls going by. One day I lost it, and went and blasted all of them. Next day, he came to apologize."

"There was simply no chemistry!! We sat there, three feet apart, looking out to the sea - with nothing to say. In my diary, I wrote this will take months to get anywhere, if it ever does."

"There was nothing particularly special that stood out. We just couldn't think of any good reason not to get married."

That's what four different women I know had to say about how their very-happy-and-successful long-term relationships began (guys generally don't discuss such stuff). Conversely, I've known a few couples that started with big flashy sparks, but the happiness in their relationships was as ephemeral as those sparks.

So, here's the moral of the story: the only place where you really need a spark in life is inside an internal combustion engine. If you seriously want a great relationship, get serious about the relationship itself and work for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment