B1 Intermediate UK 116 Folder Collection
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The moment
to settle down used to be when you had a bit of spare money and a decent job.
Then when things became more romantic it became all about being
deeply in love with someone. But both these criteria
are now heavily outdated. These are the six things
you need to do to signal you're ready to settle down and have a chance of
a successful
long term relationship. The moment to settle down
is when you finally realize your partner is deeply
imperfect. They have a hundred different flaws,
they're maddening in all sorts of ways and are riddled with psychological neurosis
that make them very hard to deal with.
However, there is an important additional realization.
Everyone is in fact like this. Once you get below the charming
outer surface. No one else will be better. We're a fundamentally
flawed species.
There's no such thing as a right person, everyone is wrong
in fascinating and enragingly diverse ways.
We think love is about being understood
for all the secret vulnerable parts of us that others don't
grasp. But however much the other seems to understand us
there will always be huge tracks of our psyches that remain
utterly incomprehensible to others. No one probably understands
and can therefore fully sympathize with anyone else.
For a long time it's easy to pretend one's normal,
even quite easy going. But it's time to settle down when you're mature enough to have an
active sense of what a liability you are. You're out of control for regular periods,
you lose perspective, you're anxious all the time. You're mature
when you can be deeply embarrassed about who you are and are prepared to apologize for the
on a regular basis.
Confusingly we speak of love as one thing when it's in fact
two. Being loved and loving.
We should settle down when we are finally ready to stop
always wanting to be loved and pick up the ropes that far less familiar activity,
actually loving someone. The unhelpful feelings that
love is all about being loved starts in childhood.
To the child it feels as if the parent is simply spontaneously on hand
to comfort, entertain, feed, clear up
and remain almost always warm and cheerful. Parents don't reveal to
their kids how often they've bitten their tongue, fought back the
tears, and been too tired to take off their clothes
after a day of child care. The relationship is almost entirely
nonreciprocal. Parent and child may both
love, but each party is on a very different end of
the axis, unbeknownst to the child. That's why in adulthood
when we first say we long for love, what we predominately mean
is that we want to be loved as we all onced loved by a parent.
We want a recreation in adulthood of what it felt like to be ministered to and indulged.
We want someone who will understand our needs, bring us what we want,
be immensely patient and sympathetic to us, act selflessly
and make it all better. This is, naturally
a disaster. For a relationship to work
we need to move firmly out of the child mode and into
the parental one.
The romantic person instinctively sees relationships
in terms of emotions. But what a couple actually get up to together over
a lifetime
has much more in common with the workings of a small business.
The two people must clean, chauffeur, cook, fix, throw away,
hire a budget. None of these activities has any glamour whatsoever within
the current arrangement of society. Those obliged to do them
are therefore highly likely to feel that something has gone wrong with their
lives. That having to involve themselves so closely with them.
And yet these tasks are truly romantic
in a sense of conducive sustaining of love and are the
bedrock of any successful relationship. At the alter
new couples should take a mutual vow, "I accept the dignity
of the ironing board..."
There's an idea that being loved means that your partner will never
try to change you. But they should and must want to change you
because you're deeply imperfect and in need of some severe remolding
in all sorts of areas. If you're not ready for it, it may look
like hostility and you may respond defensively. But you're ready to settle down
when you can bear to have things pointed out to you. You should at
key points, see them as the theacher and you as the pupil, and vice versa,
with neither side
losing their tempers. Relationships are meant to be an education
towards becoming two better people. Not a process of acceptance for
everything one already is. With these dark and sober criteria in mind
we can go back into the world of relationships, sure of a brighter,
longer and more realistic future.
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When are you ready to settle down?

116 Folder Collection
Helena published on November 6, 2019
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