Tuesday, 25 September 2012

counting the dates 2 3 4 5

I love the recall of a great date.  Remember when we...how about that time that...what about that first date/first outing/first holiday.

But reading a response on another blog (http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/is-fear-keeping-you-from-finding-a-relationship) it dawned on me that I've stopped counting.  Not that each time isn't important or significant or memorable, just that they don't feel like individual occasions any more - and that's a good thing.  Absolutely those key moments - first date in particular! - should be treasured and remembered but at what point do you stop counting the dates and realise that what was once a series of individual dates is now part of a bigger, clearer picture.

The poster over there at EMKs blog stated ''we've been dating 2 months or so I can't quite remember''.  Really?  Two months with someone and you dont' quite remember? That I find hard to believe.   But I can certainly accept that once some rhythms and routines are established it would be easy to forget just exactly how many times you have been out (or stayed in) with your new SO. 

So I wonder, does counting dates belong only in the beginning of a relationship? Or is it a sign of insecurity (or rather, not yet with security)?    When does the dating become relationship?  Is it at the point of commitment - or is it in fact when you realise you are no longer counting what has already been, but rather are looking forward to what is ahead, and the numbers no longer matter.

Friday, 21 September 2012

patience is a virtue

Today marks 90 days since the most amazing person came into my life.  It was a fluke, if you're a skeptic, and the result of an amazing course of events set in motion long ago, if you're not.

There's been some pretty big highs and lows already - nothing normal and yet all things one might expect in the ebbs and flows of life.  Re partnering so far has been easy, with the waves of effect of others seemingly whirling about us with a minimum of hard impact.

Its a romanticised view, some would say, and so early in the piece, rather unrealistic to be considering this as a smooth and easy path.  There's some truth to that, but I stay true to my belief that the essence of a relationship should be easy even if the details of life are not  (more about that here).

Which on occasion makes it all the more difficult not to rush headlong and tip the world on its side, just because it seems like the most logical path - and the most desirable.

There's days and days ahead that will require negotiation and planning, and plenty more that (I hope) will unfold easily and naturally.  Today, I'm reminding myself that its time to be patient.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

modern families

My daughter has the typical 9 year old view that a family is perfect if it consists of a Mum and a Dad and a couple of children all living in the one house.  As far as she is concerned, the dynamics are secondary, possibly even irrelevant. It's all about real estate and proximity.  For her, normality looks this way (or at least should do).

I grew up in a blended family.  My father remarried when I was 9 and went on to have two more children.  My mother remarried a bachelor - and this is whom my brother and I lived with - but there were no more children here.  This effectively gave us two extra families although we didn't see a huge amount of the extended relatives.  At 7 I was the only child in my school to come from a ''broken home'' - as this was so cheerfully described back then.  Now that I'm an adult, almost all of my friends could describe themselves in this way, and in my own circle of friends many are on second marriages or partnerships and a few are also single parents.

I was at an event recently where the extended family (not mine) included step-siblings, half siblings, step parents and grand parents, former adoptive parents, ex wives and husbands, newly partnered and widowed.  This is the real picture of a modern family I think.

And whilst, like most people I suspect, I would far prefer the traditional picture of Mum and Dad and the children, the reality is far from that.  I think its definitely true that life was less complicated when we stayed in nuclear families and marriage was for life.   But the massive social change of the past twenty or thirty years has created a whole different set of rules for the makeup of a family.

My hope is that this evolution is not interpreted as a breakdown of values or some other equally judgemental statement of blurred fact, but is simply a more honest view of human relationships.  And that whilst we can all aspire to partnering for life, and happily, the reality of our humanness simply means that these relationships have created a new way of being normal.