Wednesday, April 13, 2011
When older, single people we know talk about the challenges and realities of dating, one of the things they tend to come back to is "I like my life; I get to do what I want, when I want and I don't have to adjust to anyone else's schedule!"
Well, that is true and it is one of the joys of being unconnected (although as someone who has been either in a relationship or a parent since I was 18, I am not sure I truly understand what they are talking about) but I think that the joys of compromise and collaboration get overlooked. Yes, I said "joys"--not challenges, struggles or horrors. Joys of compromise...
Now, in all honesty, I get as tired of communication, collaboration and compromise as the next gal. My work in nonprofit management is very collaborative (one of the reasons I cling to the freelance writing on the side is that it is pretty much a solitary endeavor) and it is all about the team and the communication in social justice work. Having raised three kids as a single parent, I have learned how to pick battles, let go and negotiate and partnering with Teri has given me further opportunities to expand, let go and learn how to communicate and negotiate on an intimate level with a whole new person.
There are things that I do that I wouldn't ordinarily do; I might not choose to do them if I were solely on my own and the same goes for her. There are movies I've seen, places we've gone and activities we've done that I would have never come to by my own volition. Compromise and collaboration has made for an expansion of life--not the inhibiting contraction that people tend to think. Even seemingly simple things like which cereal to buy or what to have for dinner take on some expansive elements when two or more people are negotiating around what they both want.
I don't always get exactly what I want, but sometimes I do. And, because I'm lucky enough to live in community and relation with other people--sometimes I experience things I didn't know I'd like or want...