Relationships: Sink or Swim

By Tali Zangair/”The Voice” asst. opinion editor

When someone brings up their relationships, we automatically think of the romantic kind of relationship.  We discount the relationship they might have with their roommate or their family. Regardless of what kind of relationships you have or may be involved in, you naturally run into some trouble.  In order to tackle some of this trouble, I am going to have to deal with some stereotypes and some major issues.  I am not attacking anyone personally, just attacking some ideas.

Women complain as a form of communication.  Not all of them, and not all the time, but try working with eleven women for eight hours a day, and you’ll see that this is a true statement.  This isn’t necessarily bad, because it means that they at least keep lines of communication open.  Often, men are stereotyped as never letting someone know when something bothers them, but they still get angry about it.  Naturally, we can see that romantic relationships between these two parties are going to be a little rocky.  Even same-sex friend relationships can be difficult to navigate, as women are characterized by judging based on outward appearance and getting emotionally involved, while men are characterized as unfeeling.  

Relationships are about relating.  They are also about balance, trust, respect, and a multitude of other elements, but the main point is being able to relate.  If you won’t like that your roommate sleeps nude, you should probably relate that to her in a way that shows you also respect her.  Ladies, if you want to go out to dinner with your boyfriend (and expect him to pay), but you feel badly asking, don’t expect him to know that you want to go out and get angry with him when he doesn’t do it.  Instead, ask yourself why you feel badly asking and try to work out a compromise so that both of you can be happy.  Guys, if you don’t want to pay for dates all the time and expect her to know how you feel, you can’t just get angry without talking about it first.  Bottom line? Don’t get upset unless you’ve mentioned what is bothering you.

We’re all plagued by the idea of a relationship being roses and fancy dinners, but in reality, those days are rare. We think moving in with our best friends into an apartment is a great idea until we get there and realize that we don’t actually like them enough to share bunk-beds and a bathroom with no door.  We might think that going to a family reunion is going to be a good time to catch up with everyone, but we don’t realize that we catch up with all the things we didn’t like about each other as well as the things we do.  Regardless of the fights we have with friends, and the rivalry between siblings, the spats between lovers, we still usually keep these people in our lives.  Now I can hear the resounding cry, wondering why we keep these people in our lives even if they cause us such pain, or if they are so difficult to understand.  

No matter how angry your boyfriend, roommate, sister,  or best friend might make you,  they’re still important to you.  Sometimes we come to realizations that we fight too much and that the person we fight with might not be who we want them to be and we let them go.  But if you keep them, that proves that they are important enough to forgive.  If someone is worth keeping in your life, and worth forgiving, then that relationship is worth working on.  We can’t expect people to read our minds.  We can’t expect everyone to be okay with everything we do.  We can expect to have to compromise and work hard in the future on all of our relationships.  Sometimes, although honesty hurts, it is important in all relationships.  If someone is worth having in your life, then they are worth understanding, and once we try to understand where others are coming from and in turn let others know where we are coming from, we can expect our relationships to become a lot easier in the future.

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