It has taken me a while, but I have just about managed to complete my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post. Here is Melanie’s (Melanie is the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind) original post below:
What does a successful relationship look like to you?
That is a good question Melanie!
I am no expert on relationships. I have many successful friendships. But I don’t have a huge amount of romantic relationship experience. There was my teenage sweetheart. We courted for years, but when I was around 24/25, I realized there were sound reasons I felt I should end the courtship before we married.
After that…the next few years were a bit odd. I went on dates. I developed some close friendships with male friends. Two men proposed to me during the next few years. Both I said no to for good reasons. We were heading in completely different directions. In addition, the dynamics would not have worked. I need to respect the man I marry, I need someone whose qualities I admire and I need to be able to trust they have their head screwed on. I need someone to make decisions, decisions which I will support and help to be successful. Both of those men were in awe of me and the pace I set as a volunteer. They also loved my accommodation, which was gorgeous.
Then there was Jack. I have to admit, I was exhausted by what happened with Jack. It drove me to despair. Even now I am not sure what exactly went wrong. But I am certain that it was partly because communication broke down between us. We were both too concerned with what others thought and said. After was attacked that night in the park by a stranger, it was hard to imagine ever being close to a man again. I did try, but it was not right.
Along came Goldfinch two and a half years after I was attacked. After a wonderful thirteen months with him, he went home to Australia. He wanted me to be open-minded about meeting someone else and falling in love. I went on two dates with a guy and was physically sick (of course now I realize there was a reason I was struggling with sickness quite a lot around that time).
I can’t contemplate right now the whole meeting someone new and falling in love scenario. I am not adamant that it will never happen. But I don’t want to put any effort into pursuing it. For the moment I am content with being in love with my gorgeous Australian penpal and visiting him whenever I can.
What is a successful relationship? Two people who have a positive effect on each other? Add to each other’s security and make each other thrive?
I guess love and trust and communication have to be major elements. Forgiveness. Appreciation for each other and realistic expectations. Two people who can have fun together and also show concern and care for each other. Loyalty.
But I do think…even the most successful couples will have to be prepared that there can be other heartaches that will cause great grief and pain.
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for?
When Goldfinch allowed me to put his clothes through the washing machine after he travelled back from abroad…I believe he was kind of amused when I ironed not just his shirts, but everything that I could iron, even his underwear and handkerchiefs.
What do you wish you knew more about?
Oh wow – so much!
This planet has so many fascinating creatures and locations. I wish I could study them.
I would love to know more about gardening and cultivating crops. I wish I were more skilled and could make clothes, curtains, Roman blinds, and furniture.
I wish I knew more about Goldfinch. I would love to know him inside out.
What is better in your opinion – asking for forgiveness or permission?
Oh it depends!
When I worked in pharmacy, I remember having to reign in the enthusiasm of some of the new staff I was training. They couldn’t wait to get involved in the dispensing process of prescription only medication or controlled drugs. But we had to be strict that they should not go beyond what they have been trained and authorised to do. If you cause someone to become seriously ill or die because you do something without an awareness of the dangers – you may ask for forgiveness, but it might be hard to forgive yourself.
But in general life, you might not need to be so uptight about rules and regulations. If you are a hesitant person, always holding back, never being decisive etc – maybe some would encourage you to be more bold in life. Do things. “Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.”
But I would be a bit wary of someone who uses that as their mantra and is regularly manifesting a disregard for the rights of others, flouting authority.
People have such different attitudes towards rules today. I love rules. Rules make me feel secure. I am happy to obey them. So when I am genuinely not aware of a rule and I make a decision or take an action and later on find out I had done something wrong, then I would ask forgiveness. Did I ever tell you about my friend who ended up in trouble when she was in Ireland for face-painting at children’s parties etc? She did not know she was supposed to apply for some kind of face-painting permit.
If I feel there is any possibility of me encroaching on the rights of others, I would ask permission. I would not borrow something of someone else’s without asking first. I don’t just presume. Unless it is a family member or friend who I have known for years and who I know would probably find it ridiculous for me to be worrying about their permission.
Hope you’ll forgive me, but I feel it’s time for a song!
What’s the best thing about your life right now?
My family still hold the number one spot for the best thing in my life!