Have you ever unobtrusively sat down to evaluate what we call a relationship or sought to bend the fabrics of societal expectations to reach a self-pleasing conclusion in relation to what a meaningful relationship ought to be for you, subjectively?
Defining a meaningful relationship is as complex as seeking to find a consensus on what’s the best food for everyone. What’s meaningful would differ from one person to another, mostly based on our individual experiences, approach, worldview and desires.
Despite the many chops of ingredients which would make up what amounts to a meaningful relationship, one thing, I believe should serve as a repetition in everyone’s soup is the ingredient of unending support.
I view every relationship as a form of a social contract—where two or more people agree to hold onto a certain level of interaction, with largely agreeable rights and responsibilities. Of course, these entitlements and duties are not always foreseeable and are subject to variations. With the lapse of time, many new duties and privileges are created and others are dropped as the relationship wheels through the stream of growth.
What ought to be plainly understood is that, because a relationship is a complicated social contract between just those who are party to the agreement, two relationships are never the same—even though they may have similarities.
My personal relationship with every person, including my wife, is dictated by the sort of dealings and understanding I have with her. It’s shaped by ourselves, our unique experiences, our goals and expectations.
Therefore, it’s reasonably expected that people should be able to define the borders of their relationships themselves, uninfluenced by any larger force to any great extent. A relationship is not a monkey see, monkey do business—although social media seems to erroneously paint it so.
Nevertheless, there is a common good or virtue that despite the subjectivisms of relationships, every relationship ought to have present—and that’s what I call “unflinching support” for those in the relationship on an individual basis and also for the betterment of the collective journey.
When I write about supporting the person you are in a relationship with through thick and thin, I am not in any way referring to the awful parasitic relationships between “mugus and those who have gotten them hooked on their false love hooks or the toxic relationship between the old rich bastard and that desperate girl next door.”
A few weeks ago, a female friend asked me to help modify her CV as she has been looking for a job for almost a year without any success. She genuinely needed help in this department. This friend has a husband who is equally educated and perhaps even better at improving or assisting his wife to enhance her CV’s outline than me.
So I asked her why didn’t she asked her husband. And she told me he says he is too busy to assist—and that he has not been supportive, albeit, constantly nagging her to find a job.
That’s not an isolated case. A lot of men and women are failing to be there for those they are in relationships with—so bad that their partners, either wives, husbands, sidehicks, sidecocks or whatever label they proudly carry, have to find the needed support elsewhere.
What’s then the point of being in a relationship?
If all a meaningful relationship with another civilised homo sapiens ought to be is to have sex with that person, then why not be in a relationship with yourself—because “self-pleasuring and self-cuming” is affordably great.
Don’t get me wrong: having children is also great but without coalesced efforts to provide for the children by first providing for each other and shaping the lives of the main parties to the relationship, how is anyone going to be able to offer the needed support to the kids?
A lot of people are doing “NOTHING” for their partners. Many do not even know how much their partner’s earn at the end of the month or the ins-and-outs of their jobs.
I still find it weird, perhaps because of my innocence or my strong attraction to utopianism, when a person in a so-called committed relationship tells me he/she has no direct access to his or partner’s finances—and that their commitment or togetherness does not extend to their bank accounts. If you cannot trust someone with money, how foolish are you to trust the same person with your heart, wellbeing or life? I guess this is a conversation for another day.
Supporting one another in a relationship transcends financial assistance—that’s a point I need to make (although a lot of African women these days are just interested in financial aids and undeserving handouts).
Supporting your man or woman through thick and thin means keenly making efforts to ensure that the person you hold hands with as your partner’s dreams, even outside the collective goal are achieved—with your fingerprints and inputs all over it.
If you are in a relationship and you have to constantly be asking someone else for many things which your partner should be able to provide or is failing to provide even when he or she can, then you need to gauge whether your relationship has a meaningful value or not.
Any relationship that does not make the ingredient of support, from both parties, a core element is not worth the pain. So ask yourself this: is your man or woman supporting you through thick and thin?