On Love & Understanding

When asked, the majority  of us identify the best kind of relationship as being with a person who “really truly” understands who we are. If you’ll allow me, however, I’d like to argue that there’s an even deeper bond than that: Accepting that you only partially know and don’t yet fully understand your beloved and accepting that that’s OK. 

We have come to the understanding that people are comprised of layers and a big part of love is accepting them non the less for, and in spite of, these deeper aspects you have uncovered or that they have revealed to you about themselves. But it goes further. Say, to your surprise one day, a behavior or character trait you don’t expect of them rears its head. What now? Do you sue for false advertisement? Do you walk away because your partner is in some way no longer what you expected?

I’m taken back to the quote, “We never really know anyone.” (Anonymous). In my interpretation this speaks to the deeper understanding of an individual far beyond the expected. I believe we must accept this nihilistic sounding statement, not as discouragement but as a call to a higher connection. We must account for Internal Evolution – the perpetual reveal of new layers. By giving the beloved space to unpack themselves, and the freedom to “BE” even if you don’t get it, they can exist as themselves around you regardless. This creates within the relationship a safe haven from the external pressure of constantly trying to please, prove themselves to, and be understood by the rest of the world.

I believe for somebody to spare you the burden of having to explain yourself to them constantly and for them to instead revel in the joy of discovering something new about you, as you discover yourself each day, is something truly special.

Apart from our dormant traits that eventually surface we are already evolving creatures with the desire and ability to transform into our own ideal selves, numerus ideas of who we want to become refined by hours of internal debate and realised gradually over time. To echo Walt Wittman’s ageless words, “We contain Multitudes.”

The joy of a healthy relationship is that freedom to grow, shaping and reshaping our definitions alongside another vessel containing his or her own multitudes; a privilege only the patient and infinitely curious get to indulge in.

To know somebody is enough for the divine act of loving, but to understand them is the constantly unveiling gift at its epicenter. This is preserved only for the most attentive and devoted lovers. So to the heart struck I say, equip yourself with eyes of wonder and curiosity, patience, an open heart and the enthusiasm to go along; then buckle up for one hell of an education.

Happy Valentines.