I went to watch the film 'Take this Waltz' tonight for the second time, and it had me really thinking. I love films that force you to assess the way you live your life and the way you choose to treat others; and it also reignited something that I had been thinking about for a little while now.
The film is based on a married couple, where the wife feels dissatisfied with her life- including her marriage. She has a chance meeting with a guy, who makes her feel like she has been re-energised, and struggles with whether or not to commit to ultimate sin whilst in a monogamous relationship- to cheat or not to cheat?
I found the film a brutally honest portrayal of how we really are when it comes to getting what we want- selfish/harsh/uncaring/unashamed and self absorbed. We somehow need to feel like we have a multitude of options outside of our relationships, we need to feel like if our current relationship doesn't work out, we have a choice of people to fill the gap.
Is due to a lack of self-esteem? Noone wants to feel undesired right? Even if in turn it makes the person we are in a relationship with feel like they'll never be enough or good enough. Of course I'm purely speaking about relationships which are monogamous. There are countless ways to describe relationships these days: monogamous, open, swing, friends with benefits, long distance, relationships without commitment; just to name a few. But it's the monogamy that gets me. If two people have decided on an alternative relationship, there is no issue because they are both on the same page and know where they stand in that regard; but if they have chosen "that" kind of commitment to only be with one person, there surely needs to be a clear and basic level of respect. I'm seeing more and more people messing with others for their own selfish needs. Whether it be for attention/ an unashamed ego boost....all these things are so incredibly detrimental to a monogamous relationship that they have chosen to be in.
The film shows the wife develop and build a relationship with the new guy and it had me thinking about what I consider cheating. There doesn’t have to be a kiss for infidelity, there doesn’t need to be sex for infidelity- if anything, it’s the emotional connection that can be the most damaging of things. Anyone can have a kiss or have sex, but choosing to have an emotional connection and pursue that connection with someone other than your partner, can certainly be perceived as far worse - the ultimate betrayal.
It’s kindness to end things and let that person find someone who wants only them.
I understand the want to feel euphoric, but there is the risk of constantly grasping for someone else because we think that's what we need to feel like we're moving- but euphoria never lasts. There is a huge difference between being content with what we have and settling for something we’re not happy with deep down….
There are a couple of quotes from the film that I like a lot -
Extra one: “I like new things, new things are shiny”
Extra two: “New things get old!”
I don't want nostalgia love. I don't want (good) memories of past relationships love. I don't want "you'll do" love. I don't want euphoric love.
This kind of "love" is temporary. We'd all like to think that love at first sight is based on something more than simple physical attraction. We always hark back to the good times in past relationships while forgetting the very things that made that person an ex. We'd all like to think that relationships should be fireworks and adventure....
But I don't want that kind of love. I want the good and the bad, I want the rough and the smooth. A quote I found on Tumblr, describes what I consider the perfect relationship: "I just want you, that's it. All your flaws, mistakes, smiles, giggles, jokes, sarcasm. Everything." Because none of us are perfect. We all have our lives and selves to deal with, but hope to one day find someone who will take all of us for who we are.
I don't want something temporary. I want something real.....
Another quote from the film (although not word for word as I can’t remember it in full) which I think’s great: “Life has a gap in it, it always does, and you’re an idiot trying to search for something to fill it like some lunatic”.
This is what I mean about contentment and settling. We watch movies and read books about others living these exciting lives and feel that we should be doing the same. So the feeling of contentment is often replaced with unfair contempt for our partner- "another night in front of the telly? We should be having wild sex somewhere or jumping out of a plane!" We feel the routine of life isn't enough, we need more excitement, more dare, more everything! We're afraid to be content and therefore convince ourselves that we're settling. It usually results in making an impulse decision, and losing the very thing we wanted all along.
Maybe we just need to be a bit more open to having a "boring" life. The way someone lives their life is incredibly subjective anyway.....or maybe I'm just being an old fart and should "get with the times!"
But I'm unwavering on the issue of respect. No matter what kind of relationship we are in, do we want our partner to constantly be looking over their shoulder in fear that we’re eying up someone else? We wouldn't want that for ourselves. All relationships whether family, friend or partner based, always start with the basics, but the basics are so easy to forget when it comes to our own selfishness - we become blind to it.
Another great quote I came across a little while ago, is perfect for this post: "never make a permanent decision based on temporary feelings". How bliss is that?!
We do only get one life, and we should do what makes us happy, but at the cost of hurting someone we claim to love?
I'm not going to tell you what happens in the film, but suffice to say, when you think you get what you want, after that “shine” has gone….you will undoubtedly find yourself realising the grass isn’t greener. By then though, it’ll be too late.
That's not the way I want to live my boring life.