Too many young couples I have interacted with lately have used the term “breathing space” likening it to THE elusive factor in their intimate relationships. They complain that their partners do not allow them liberties to do things as they please. They lament the idea that their partners do not understand their need for “space”. “She does not let me be....”
After we were married, I smothered my husband with myself. I looked forward to spending all my time with him. I would even insist that he accompany me on our bi-monthly veggie shopping sprees. I simply wanted to be with him, reading love poems to him while the rain poured outside, cooking his favourite pasta, spending lazy sundays playing Scrabble, going on long bike rides across the rolling hills, or grabbing a late night meal at a 24 hour Coffee Shop.
I felt over powered by my love for him and I know that he felt the same way too. We rarely spent any time with friends. All we wanted was to be together. Somehow. Anyhow. Anywhere.
While he allowed me to drag him to the Cinema to catch a boring flick like An Interview with a Vampire, I tried to digest the raunchy and colourful medley of Telugu cinema. Even though he does not care for relatives and the baggage they entail, he understands why I have to be part of every ceremony we are invite to. We compromised. We adjusted.
Ultimately, if you love someone, you would be willing to surrender yourself to them; without insecurities and inhibitions; without any qualms or ego.
The Oxford Dictionary describes breathing space as “time to rest between periods of effort.” Unfortunately, in intimate relationships, one can never rest, and the effort must never cease. It’s the only way to make a relationship work.