Essential Credentials: Mirror, mirror

Viola Pruss - Essential Credentials (Tom Bateman/AQ)

We’ve all heard the story. What once seemed like the burning flames of desire and ever-lasting love slowly grew into smoking timbers and ash. There’s no crazy teenage sex anymore, conversation runs dry, and we suddenly realize annoying quirks in our partner’s demeanor – toenails on the bathroom floor, weird smells, and cranky moods.

When the flirting, the passion, and the mystery grow dull, what comes next?

There are a few lovers that seem untouched about the passion wagon leaving town. Most of us, however, reach a state of crisis at some point in our relationship. Still so many don’t seem willing to tackle these issues.

When things go downhill, we seek the advice of our friends. And advice is good, but complaining is not.

There is a time where we only question others to avoid confronting the inevitable, the answer we’ve known all along. Your friends can point you in the right direction but at some point you either face the giant, or you let him sleep. We all like to hear that we’ve done all we could, or that it’s not up to us to change things.

But relationships depend on two people.

One may follow the wrong road, but often enough it’s the other that sits back and watches disaster happen. Complaining to others achieves nothing. Instead, it makes both of you shine in a questionable light.

Would you want his friends to hear him speak badly about you?

Where we once spent days talking endlessly, we now spend that time watching movies for lack of better things to do. At first, we just grow comfortable. Then we get bored. And after that comes the fighting.

School, work, and life are all stressful. That’s no excuse for being careless. Sometimes we need to push ourselves to wake the old passion.

I hear a lot of people grumble about missing those first months where their partner was still mysterious, and their love full of fresh sparks. Sure, that was nice. But I prefer knowing whom I’m with, and learning that feelings can grow stronger once you establish some trust.

The beginning is exciting because you kiss a stranger. After that, you should be kissing a friend. And you don’t complain about this friend behind their back.

It’s about giving and receiving, about voicing concerns. But it’s also about taking a look at the mirror, and acknowledging your own mistakes. And perhaps, to admit that the other person may not be what you expected, or changed.

People are scared these days. University is drawing to an end. We split from our families, and we try to find our own path through life. Sometimes love seems a nice guide for the rough patches. But your partner won’t pay your bills, he won’t give you a job, and he won’t decide where to go from here. He can be an emotional anchor, but only if you trust him to help you through the ups and downs.

If nothing seems to move ahead, perhaps it’s time to move on. Otherwise, how could it get better when you grow old?