Love is a fine thing, but gets old quick. The only true solution to making it last is doing things you absolutely hate.
Allow me to share some secondhand relationship advice, originally packaged to alleviate the nerves of my grandson/fill the space in our twice-weekly phone conversation. As someone who has been married for a lifetime, invariably I seem to be a source of wisdom on that front. Unfortunately the fountain of knowledge is not as regal as it is promised in the pages of fiction, however I do have one piece of advice to making something work.
Embrace the re-runs.
You see, when you meet your partner, and your love is new, the beau in your arms and otherwise is witty, urbane and learned. Cicero meets Larry Emdur, and let me have a bite of that knowledge sandwich, you think, but it’s not long until you’re tired of the taste, coupled with the fact that you think the mayo might be on the turn, and all you’re left with is the bitter aftertaste of disappointment. This again? Where’s the freshness, you murmur with a cheekful of conversation you’ve chewed yourself through before, now turning into a gray paste without form. Well, let me tell you, the use-by date for your partner’s A-material has long expired, for as soon as you’re in, the effort to wowzer you with their verbal gymnastics is lessened. We all settle for bronze over gold. If we stick the landing, bonus. If we miss the bar entirely and faceplant, that’ll also do.
The longer you spend your time with someone, the higher likelihood that you’ll witness the symptoms. As my grandson called it: “same story syndrome”.
It’s a fact of life. Even the most opinionated, knowledgeable or hilarious will eventually plateau, and with it comes feelings of dislike. Your/their performance days are over. We’re in syndication. All that’s left to do is the cash the romantic cheques. As we’re promised, death, taxes and pleasures of the flesh; it’s an obvious truth that the longer you spend your time with someone, the higher likelihood that you’ll witness the symptoms. As my grandson called it: “same story syndrome”.
But he’s a fool for one particular reason. That syndrome is not a condition, but rather the root for something more meaningful. The fundamental part of a relationship is acting that you’re as interested as you were, the first time you heard that story, especially in a social setting. Within the boundaries of your own space, you are free to be yourself, but in meeting new people, it behooves you to act properly when your “one” dusts off the A-material, as they had once done for you. But instead of coughing as the ancient dust invades your sinus, one must act as interested as you were the first time, even if you can move your lips along with the narrative.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The paprika of love is pushing each other into new areas of interest, where one walks into the unknown with someone they truly know, but every day can’t be skydiving and Marcel Proust. Sometimes what’s required is stoic amnesia at a Friday evening soiree you’re attending against your will.