The one thing my current relationship has taught me is that it is easier to do a double doctorate than to keep a relationship going. And this comes after well admitting that I am the more troublesome one in our twosome. But, take it from someone who comes from the generation of dial-up modem browsing — nowhere else do we have to hit the refresh button more often than in relationships.
If you are still in doubt, allow me to hand hold you and walk you down the memory lane. Remember the time when your eyes first met? That chill, the thrill, (and in my case, that immediate realisation that she was way out of my league), those were real. Then came the courtship, that period of heightened mystery and curiosity, of will-she-won’t-she and should-I-or-shouldn’t-I, all those late night calls and early good morning texts, all that effort with the sweet nothings through the day. Come to think of it, sounds like a lot of work, or rather, sounds like a lot of work not being done while someone is busy idling about with all these shenanigans.
Which then brings us to the next phase, a more settled stage. This is where the worst thing to strike a relationship can happen — routine. Nothing takes the shine off a happy coupling than the monotonous humdrum of a quotidian existence.
The same person whom you fantasised about naked can now walk around the house in a birthday suit and you wouldn’t flinch from whatever Netflix show you are binge-watching. The person whose voice was your cheerful wake- up call becomes a cackling and annoying early rising rooster. The person who was interesting and mysterious now seems all too familiar and predictable.
This is precisely what living together does, it erodes at all that was still unknown and knowledge is not always a great thing. Not just with people but even with monuments and works of art, sometimes I have found that too much of knowledge heightens expectations to unreasonable levels, which then leads to a major let down when accosted by the real thing. Imagination is clearly better than the real thing and the porn industry should adopt that as their byline. But they are already so in demand they don’t need one just yet.
But back to relationships, no matter what stage you are at, remember it is always a good time to refresh things. To try and start from wherever you are and explore onwards, together. I write this even as I try to inculcate this. I feel many of us neglect the courtship part once we feel that the chase is over. The trouble is the once the chase is over is when the real work starts.
So, today let me raise a toast to all who have found their partners: may your pairings bring stability through constant change. For those who are still single: party on you lucky fellas!
The writer is a lover of wine, song and everything fine