Do We Ever Grow Up?

Hi, Boomers,

Are we forever slogging though adolescence.  Are all interpersonal relationships bound to end in “he said, she said?”  Can we ever get relationships right?  I guess I’m thinking, do we ever really listen to one another.  We jump to so many conclusions about “the other.”  I’m as guilty as the next person on this score.  But why do we have to sink so low?  Because it’s not the best of human nature we’re dealing with.

The most toxic force on the planet is resistance.  It’s the arm pit of our existence.  Resistance is the cause of more unhappiness than poverty, disease or erectile dysfunction.  We actually resist just about everything at first – until we are prodded and pushed and cajoled into taking up an action that will benefit us.  That is the state of adolescence but it is obviously the state of adulthood, too, and it screws up more relationships.

A person says something to his or her partner.  The other person hears what he/she wants to hear.  The conversation escalates into an argument, a confrontation, a breakup, a divorce.  We go from zero to a hundred in seconds.  It’s over before it ever begins.  That’s not love.  That’s ego.   And ego always tries to win and most of the time everyone looses.

The end of a relationship is challenging even if it was lousy one to begin with.  We put time and effort and energy in trying to make a couple and it ends so fast because of ego no one even gets a chance to blink.  We turn on each other faster than a speeding bullet.  It sucks.

Why don’t we just talk out the issues normally, with sanity and kindness?  Why do we hurl accusations at each other like we’re taking target practice?

I usually have an opinion on everything.  That’s a problem.  I’m too quick and verbal.  I make an assessment of a situation, hear something I think is false, and jump right in.  Then I say things that upset the other person and the games begin.  Hostilities arise.  I can deal with hostilities and the slings and arrows that come with it, but I really have a hard time with passive aggressive behavior.  It’s mud slinging and it gets dirty and hurtful and we dredge up the past as if it was the present.  And before we know it we’re all over the place with projections and recriminations and bad stuff happens after that.  Stomachs churn and we cry and we can’t sleep.

There is usually no way back to the beginning.  My friend can’t get back to setting her relationship right.  Trial and error doesn’t seem to work because there is no forgiveness that lurks at the bottom.  When forgiveness is absent, then, it’s all over.  You can’t go home again.  The warmth and love are gone.  Only the deep hurt remains.  And in time, our wounds will heal and we will forget what caused the breakup.

Do you ever wish you had a relationship to live over again?  Some are obviously not good relationships and so we don’t’ want to go back in that situation,  but I mean the ones that had a chance to survive if just a few things were different.  Like not saying hurtful things that stir emotions we cannot deal with.  I’ve had a few of those relationships.  I could have been more cautious, more lenient, and a whole lot less mouthy.  On the other hand, the guy could have been less passive aggressive and not thrown out the baby with the bathwater.

Do we ever grow up?  Do we ever get the male/female balance right.  It’s actually more difficult at an older age.  Any of you boomers our there tried to grow a relationship at an older age?  We carry tons of baggage into a relationship post fifty-five.  And if you think the sixties are any easier, I’ll let you in on a secret.  They’re worse.  I think one of my dating guys had it right when he told me that although I was terrific, he wasn’t going to get involved in a monogamous relationship again.  He already had his wives.  He had his kids.  No way ever!

He may have had it right, this serial dater.  One may not be the loneliest number.  One may be less stressful in the end.  But I just can’t help but think that finding and nurturing love in a spiritual sense (physical is good, too) is what may in the end make up grow up and get the hell out of adolescence.




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