It’s the month of Love! Expressing love, planning first dates or buying gifts is so fascinating and cute. But then, once the air starts getting cold, love ceases or freezes for many.
Well, I’m not against V-day or the celebration; I too love the ambience that nature gifts us at spring and which in return marks this celebration. But what pains me is that the next V-Day is not the same for many couples; not talking about the ugly hold of destiny over life but the decisive fate created by humans. Suddenly, the much-alike people start thinking that they are incompatible with each other.
Here I share a story about a lovely aged couple—Sushobhan and Riya—and their names tell us it was a marriage of convention and trendiness. They are similar only in their love of books and having a penchant for classic melodies—qualities not so vital in life. All other aspects of them seem to be contradictory, not complementary. He is conservative and worships conventions, and the lady is a free thinker with a mind that has grown with time.
But they are celebrating their 60th anniversary of their love this V-day. Yes, they have been playing their partnership on various pitches of life, but together. The secret to their oneness is they were fast to embrace their differences.
I happened to meet them in a park where I often visit to get rid of my writer’s block. Finding an empty corner, I sat down to enjoy my solitude. Suddenly, a romantic hum stirred my mind. When I opened my eyes, I found an aged couple at some distance sitting on a bench. The elderly man was singing an old melody in a low tone to his lady.
When our eyes met, they waved to say sorry thinking they might have interrupted my solitude while I wanted to move so they could enjoy their space. However, the next moment, they asked me to join them and I couldn’t say no to their friendly gesture. As much as the elderly love telling us stories, I love listening to them—be it from strangers or friends.
I was enlightened by their real life experience: embracing differences doesn’t mean making compromises but to ignore the differences and eventually learn to think and believe the same way.
With their monumental differences, they had every reason in the world to say goodbye and move apart. It was their decision to stick together that helped them learn more about each other and evolve in their relationship, and yet discover some novelty in it. Regardless of the challenges one faces in life, it is your will to remain unchanged with the changing weather that holds the key to a long and loving relationship.
That evening, I realized that there are four things that make love work:
The need to overcome black and white grouping of differing opinions or perceptions: Accept and respect various shades of differing perspectives.
Understand that differences open the doorway to new experiences: By opening yourself up to alternate ways of life—not with any sense of compromise but as a choice—you can make more educated decisions because you have explored many ways.
Know that what we find problematic in others are actually our hidden insecurities and fears: Yes! Often, we point fingers and find flaws but a little introspection will help you handle differences better.
Banish grudges: Forget them. Communicate well with your partner by expressing well and giving the other person a chance to speak his mind.
Relationships serve as a mirror for oneself—the fact is that we aren’t flawless.
On being asked if they quarrel or fight, Sushoban answered that he sings when she is angry and her blush takes the acrimony away. And Ria said that she cooks when he is angry, and he relishes it. The aged couple had personalities on opposite ends of the spectrum, but instead of focusing on their differences, they accepted each other’s flaws and saw their relationship strengthen.
Here’s wishing you all a lifetime of good memories and the ability to see beyond the differences in your relationships!
(This piece was first printed in mycity4kids.com)