Do your socks match?

| April 28, 2011

Bright SocksTrue love is like a pair of socks; you gotta have two and they’ve gotta match.
– Anonymous

If I’ve learned anything from my current relationship, it’s that when you’re with the right person, it’s easy. That’s not to say we don’t disagree or even get on each other’s nerves from time to time, but overwhelmingly, we just get along.

Trust me, that wasn’t the case before this relationship, and it didn’t seem feasible that a relationship ever would be anything but a day-to-day roller coaster ride. Looking back, I can’t believe I ever accepted anything less.

I recently lent a listening ear to a struggling friend and her relationship issues struck a chord with me. I noticed the glaring signs of discontent and the excuses she was making for behavior that was unmistakably grounds for a breakup. And it was in that moment I realized those days of irrelevant drama have been nonexistent since I met my boyfriend.

So I dished up a healthy serving of what I thought was well-received advice. But as soon as she sat down to discuss her very valid issues with her boyfriend, she was flying a white flag.

My initial reaction was anger. I was annoyed that I spent hours dissecting his behavior and doling out advice which she ultimately ignored. I was perturbed that after the time I invested as her friend, she canceled our plans and became missing in action for days as soon as he was willing to acknowledge her. But most of all, I was disappointed the she was condoning how he treated her.

Does she think she can’t do any better? Truth is, she probably does.

As much as I wanted to pass judgment on her decision, I couldn’t because I was her a year ago. And had some self-proclaimed enlightened expert tried to fill my head with talk of an uncomplicated relationship, I would have singled it out as an enigma and gone about my ways.

Dating advice has been well-documented over the years, but it’s easy to discard someone else’s positive experience as a fluke when you’ve never witnessed it directly.

Moreover, it’s human nature to desire companionship. Relationships have their perks, and sometimes those advantages take precedence over the fact that the compatibility just isn’t there.

With that mentality, it’s just good practice not to move onto something (or in this case someone) else until you’ve exhausted every avenue with the current prospect. Without the security of something superior lined up, it might be an insurmountable leap of faith to jump ship for fear that your relationship may be as good as it gets.

At the outset of this week’s column, I was compiling differences between relationships past and present to drive home the warning signs of failure, but as it’s unfolded, I discovered hidden counsel.

If you’re content to run around in mismatched socks, so be it. Relationships are trial and error, and some will filter out the discord until it slaps them in the face.

But you can’t take back what you say to your friends about your relationship. If you’re essentially part of the witness protection program when your relationship is cruising, don’t share damaging information with your peers when you resurface if you fully intend to give it another go!

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Category: Dating and Relating

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