In a relationship, there comes a point, when a woman will probably start wondering if everything is normal. And it comes as no surprise, that most of us, take as points of comparison other couples. Usually, if you sit and have a conversation with your girlfriends and realize that their relationship works differently from yours, there will come a point when the unavoidable question will pop on your mind as well: “is my relationship normal if we do things differently?” And it also comes as no surprise that most of us ask that question every now and then, because for some weird, unexplained reason we think that relationships should follow a specific recipe, a one-size-fits-all formula.
As an unspoken girl rule, when two girlfriends meet up for a catch-up it is unavoidable to escape the boy-talk. So when I met Vivi for a drink a few weeks ago, whom I haven’t had a chance to catch up with for a few months, I was pleasantly surprised to hear how well her dating life was going. She had a met a guy whom she actually likes – something that happens next to never – and was dating him for a few good months. She told me how things are going perfectly well for the two of them and how surprised she was to meet someone that was on the same page as her. I recall her telling me: “We are both very busy people. We make time for each other but we give each other their own space. I see him every weekend, and we don’t talk in between. We have other things to do and we just catch up once a week when we meet up”. I remember being very surprised: “I get how busy you are, but how can you not talk at all during the week?” I recall her dismissing the question by just saying that it works for both of them and she’s happy – “after all, I like him but we are just dating”. When I got home that night, I couldn’t take her words off my mind. I was happy for her that she found something that works for her, but talking to someone you are dating for a few months just once a week seemed quite weird to me. With the fast-paced London life and crazily demanding jobs, I don’t think that anyone of us can say we are not busy. But how can you be so busy that you can’t find 10 minutes in a day to talk to the guy you are seeing? And if the real reason is not the busy schedule then what is?
I kept comparing her relationship to mine and thinking which one of the two of us has got it all wrong. I am not the type to text and call every hour, and we definitely don’t talk to each other all day long. But there’s going to be at least one phone call before we go to bed at night, just to catch up with each other. I usually don’t look for more contact throughout the day simply because that’s enough. But if I don’t get to talk to Serge at least once per day, I’ll usually be quite upset or worried the day afterwards. It was like her dating life made me question mine: am I too needy for wanting to call Serge at least once a day or did she put way too much distance between herself and the guy she’s dating? When I couldn’t understand how Vivi could make it work by only talking to him once a week, I dismissed the thought and decided that if it works for her, that’ great. Maybe each couple does write their own rules and no one else needs to understand them.
A few days ago, after I got home at night after a long day and warmed up on the couch with a glass of wine and a good movie, I got a panicky phone call from Vivi. To make a long conversation short, apparently falling for someone can write off all the rules that you had created. She came to a point where she realized she had actually fallen for the guy and seeing him or talking to him just once a week was no longer enough. “I do have a lot of things to do every day, and I’m still quite happy with him… but I think I do want more contact with him. I realise that I miss him more and more every day”. As much as I wanted to help her, I wasn’t the person to talk to about this topic. I told her that the best she could do was try to talk to him a bit more, maybe text him every other day and see how it goes. Afterall, maybe this was something he wanted as well. Turns out a couple of days later she talked to him and they called their relationship exclusive and now she’s never been happier.
But even after everything finished, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. How did she come to change her mind after just a few weeks, when everything seemed to be working so perfectly for her? How can she suddenly not be happy with something that days earlier she found ideal? And ultimately, when it comes to relationships, does each couple make their own rules or is there really a one-size-fits-all formula that apply to all relationships? It is often said that falling for someone is a constant feeling of wanting more… more contact, more time with them, more reciprocation to your feelings. So if that is true, Vivi’s reaction shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. I could never see her as being needy or chasing a guy around constantly, but there’s nothing surprising about falling for someone and wanting to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. I guess the only reason that I was surprised by her, is simply because I know that usually she’s more rational than emotional, in contrast to me.
So maybe each couple does write their own rules… up to an extent. Maybe there’s a limit to how much distance you can put between yourself and the person you are dating. Some couples text every hour, some are constantly on the phone with each other, and some meet up every day. I know Vivi would never be like that, simply because it’s extremely out for character for her. And as for me, this is not who I am either. I do get more emotional that she does, and I probably would fall for someone more easily than she will. But I would always need my space and some ‘me time’. But I’ll still need to keep in touch with the person I’m seeing, at least once a day… even if that sounds needy to people that have written their rules differently. I guess not changing who you are just to be in a relationship is exactly what allows you a margin for flexibility, but then again falling for someone is often a feeling of wanting to keep the other person close to you… at least once a day.
What do you think? Does Each Couple Write Their Own Rules? What are your rules? Comment and let me know!