What Does One Plus One Equal?
“Why is being in a relationship, better than being single?” was the question posed on Facebook recently. How such a simple question ever got itself tangled up with such a complex answer, is explainable simply by pointing out the reality for many of the two-backed beast: "One plus one does not equal two; one plus one equals one." Or put in other words, "Love is the greatest power."
For someone in a long-term relationship, the universe is not about just you-it is about the two of you. You want to bring her coffee in the morning, if you are up earlier than she is, because you would want coffee brought to you. It’s about doing for someone else, what you would like done for you, and about gaining satisfaction out of trying to make life easier for your partner.
The one thing that rocks my world most about being in a long-distance marathon with the same person, is knowing that the two of us function as a unit, and that as such, I do not have to face the worst that life has to offer by myself.
|Doves mate for life.|
Additionally, if my significant other is facing some sort of crisis, it impacts me as much as it does her, because our unit is struggling. I can’t go forward if she is stuck, because to leave her behind is to leave too much of myself behind, to be able to make forward progress.
Maybe the question I address shouldn’t be whether being with someone is better than being single, because I don’t have a clue what being single would be like after 35 years of monogamy, but rather, why is being in a relationship good?
Speaking for myself, raised in a home with eight siblings, I prefer to be with others than by my lonesome. I used to hate being alone but have recently gotten over that, partly because I end up manning the home fires when GlutenFree Mama journeys over to Sacramento every three weeks, and partly because I know that our unit remains complete.
This way GF Mama can focus on her task at hand, and not have to worry whether the chickens get brought in at night. It goes back to what I said above, about doing what allows the unit to go forward, both physically and mentally. I derive much peace of mind by doing everything I can to ensure that GF Mama does not have to stress out, about the minutia of running the household.
Being in a relationship means you are through sending signals to-and receiving signals from-others. If you are incapable of shutting off this mechanism within you, then you have no business being in a relationship, unless you are up front with your partner.
Being single, on the other hand, means being able to do what you want, when you want, without consulting anyone else; it also means having to do it all by yourself. There is no one there to take care of the cat/dog/chickens/rabbits when you have to be away; there is no one there to spruce up the place while you are off tending to your health issues; finally, there is no one there to care, whether you come back or not.
Being in a relationship takes a lot of the guesswork out of life; if that works for you, then you run with it. If you do not like this feeling and prefer a less predictable lifestyle, then the single life is probably best for you.
Just hope that guesswork doesn’t end up being you, second-guessing yourself in the winter of your lifetime, when you are alone, with no one around who ultimately cares, whether you are there-or not.
You harvest what you plant, if you have tended your garden well. Your kids will spend a comparable amount of time caring for you, in your old age, as you did caring for your own folks. That is, if you have kids.
|Love is the greatest power.|
You walk up and down the path of life together, slowing for the speed bumps, getting going a little too fast on the downhill slopes-at times-and you should not worry about when and where the finish line appears.
From my vantage point, since any marathon is challenging, I want everything going for me that is possible, and that includes the greatest power, love.
Since everyone wins this marathon-of that there can be no doubt, it’s more about the way you choose to run your marathon, than it is about the inevitable outcome.
Choose carefully, for best results, or as we used to preach to middle school students: “Make wise choices.”