Chapter 3.Relationships: Maturity

A Pledge for Lovers

The surest indicator of the success of a relationship is not whether or not there are arguments, moments of fury, stretches of loneliness or incidents of betrayal. It is, quite simply, whether or not two people want to be together.

If they do, and if they firmly know this of themselves and of the other, then pretty much every obstacle can be overcome. The fractious current state of a relationship is never enough to doom it. Saying in the heat of an argument that one hates one’s partner and wishes to divorce them tomorrow morning (or worse) means nothing whatsoever. All that matters is the underlying concrete intention that one carries in one’s heart and which – surprisingly – people often don’t share either with their partner or with themselves… until it’s too late.

Therefore, we want you to consider whether or not you can sign up to a declaration. We are interested in intentions, not (yet) in action.

If you can sign up to these words, however many squabbles you may have had, however hard intimacy might be, however many bad words may have been said in fury, then half the battle at least has already been won.

Dear lover:

I still love you and want to be with you.

We are both responsible for the pains we have gone through.

Neither of us is perfect. We both bring deep-seated problems and faults to our relationship – many dating back to our childhoods. These are extremely hard to notice, change and account for. We will do our best, but if we can’t manage certain steps, we would at least like to confess that – like everyone else on the planet – we are a little mad, and we’re deeply sorry about that. It’s the way we’re all built. We know we’ve brought trouble into each other’s lives. Once more, sorry.

We want things to go better between us because we profoundly care about one another, despite everything. We admire each other still.

For things to go better, we will both need to be modest and newly humble. We will need to let go of some very entrenched positions. We will, the two of us, have to give up on the pleasures of feeling in the right.

The work we’ll do together won’t be fast – and it will at points be rather painful. But we’re committed to being curious about one another, to acknowledging errors – and to hearing uncomfortable truths. We’ll try not to get cross – and when we do a bit nevertheless, we’ll try to figure it out and go easy on one another.

We will never be perfect.

We want love to work for us. That it hasn’t been too simple so far is no indication of anything other than that what we’re trying to do is very hard indeed. We do truly love each other, at least sometimes. We want this to work.

Signed: ……………………………………………

Signed: ……………………………………………