Often, I see couples fighting about the weirdest reasons, although to them, the reason is as important as the next technological breakthrough in quantum physics. What amuses me most is the sudden change in attitude between two people the moment they start going out. The fact that they were friends before totally eludes both of them, and it looks as though that going out requires a totally new set of rules to abide by. Break one of them, and it's long hours on the phone trying to explain how you went wrong and what you can do to make things better.
Consider this; a friend of mine started going out with this girl just over two years back. Back at the inception of the relationship, my friend was thin, good looking and most importantly, an excellent soccer player. Fast forward to the present, that friend has become fat, due to the incessant hanging out at one place, no longer the soccer player he used to be, but still good looking. Now the girl has a huge problem with my friend being fat. So what does she do? She makes my friend eat only once the entire day, and since he is with her from the morning till about seven or eight at night, you can pretty much imagine what goes through his stomach the entire time he is with her. I guess the girl is happy with the solution, because my friend is nowhere to being thin she hasn't resorted to some other 'subtle' approach, like exercise, starvation, hunger strike etc.
The point is, you can't expect an athlete to stay thin when you make the guy sit in one place for about four or five hours every day for two years. And neither can you expect the guy to get thin just by not eating. I would have said something, but I don't have the guts to fight female logic, but it's quite amusing to see my friend on a tight leash.
Next, we move on to one of the most problematic part of a relationship, TRUST. Although trust is the thing binding the relationship, strangely, that is the one thing that is devoid in most relationships. A typical conversation goes like this among a couple where one of them is possessive:
Girl: Yeah, I am going out with my friends tonight.
Boy: Ok, before you go, just do me a little favor.
Boy: Give me your friend's phone number, the address where you are going, the number of people going with you, the number of guys coming along, when you are leaving, when you are coming back, the names of the guys… (blah, blah and more blahs)
Girl: Don't you trust me? (frowning or pouting)
Boy: Sure I do, sweetie, but I am concerned because I love you.
The last line of the conversation is always quite mysterious to me, since I cannot really get it; if you do love someone, then surely you must trust that someone, right? And logically, if you do trust that someone, then you shouldn't be insecure about everything s/he does. Then I look around, and all I can see is interrogation done at varying levels of subtlety. 'Where are you going, why are you going, when are you going, how are you going, what are you wearing, who all are going'…endless questions under the pretext of concern. Concern, I can understand, but keeping track of your girlfriend or boyfriend seems to be the latest trend in the couples nowadays. Maybe they should have an agency or something that does all the tracking for a certain fee, just so that all the people who are really insecure about their partner's whereabouts might breathe easy. It might even turn out to be quite a successful business line. You would think that this is the end, but no there is more. Yet again, I heard about this incident where the guy broke up with his one year old long girlfriend just because he saw a picture of his girlfriend with some other guy in the girl's Hotmail inbox. Maybe the question arises as to why the guy was looking around in the girl's mails, but that just shows the level of trust between them. I am sure that readers have guessed the ending…it sure wasn't 'happily ever after'. The best part was when the pair ended up working in the same office after a year of no contact. Now it's fun to see the two acting like nothing has happened, yet in their own ways, they make it pretty obvious about their shared past.
The other thing that really bugs me is when couples call each other pet names. To be quite frank, every time I hear the pet names, I feel like ramming my fist right into the person's face, not only because it is so annoying, but also it makes the people around the couple uncomfortable. I really don't get this part; parents spent a lot of time and energy on their part to name each of us; why should anyone adopt a pet name? If it was at least a nice name, understandable, but some of the names I heard lately are just way out…I mean, really way out. Hear this; this acquaintance of mine started going out with this girl who calls him 'Mona'. Really sweet, wouldn't you say? Well, I thought it was pretty sweet till the day I was crossing a road near Nilkhet, and I heard one rickshaw puller calling out to the other 'Oi MONA, tara tari taan de, dai ne jamu'. So now I picture the rickshaw puller every time I hear the girl address her call the guy.
And then there are the couples who plan their future in minute details, without even knowing what they are doing the next day. I mean, making plans are fine, but with the way some of the couples obsess over it, you would think they are planning out the next space shuttle launch. Every planning is meticulous, and during all this scheming, I often ask 'How are you so sure all this will work out?' The reaction to this question of mine often invokes a blank look from the two in question, followed by the answer 'Because we love each other, and us ending up is inevitable.' The definition of 'inevitable' turns out to be the time they are together, for the moment the couple breaks up, its like all the future plans go poof!
Of course, some couples get along even after they break up, but most can't stand being near each other. This guy I heard had a seven year long relationship, in which his girlfriend used to be the centre of his life. He even went to the extent of making enemies of people his girlfriend had a problem with. During re-unions, if he was in charge, he wouldn't even invite those people. You can tell how besotted the guy was. Now why did I mention all these? Because all this love turned out to be for nothing, for the girl two-timed him, and soon after they broke up, the guy started to advocate to all his friends that girls are nothing but trouble, they cannot be trusted and what not. Many would say that his behavior is justified, but then I say that this is hypocrisy of the highest order.
Many people, while going out, seem to forget that they have friends who need some attention at some point. They think that their world consists of only their girl/boyfriend. And so, while going out, it's utter devotion to the 'beloved', while friends are reduced to objects of utility. But the sudden change of this status occurs when the couples break up. At that time, it seems that they cannot live without their friends; hanging out at Timeout, picking up their tabs, contacting them everyday some of the well known patterns of post break-up syndrome. Maybe a lot of people think of it as a normal behavior pattern, but its just pure hypocrisy as far as I am concerned.
Someone once said 'the world is a stage, and we are all actors' or something along that line. I guess entertainment of these kinds are suitable for the world stage. I often find it very funny at the sudden change of heart between friends and the significant other. Of course, I am not saying relationships are totally devoid of any kinds of problems, but the problems plaguing most couples are so utterly pointless that it amuses me to see how much time is spent on searching for solutions. The best kinds of relationship are those where people give each other space, respect each other's decisions and trust each other. Although these kinds of relationships are quite hard to have, or see for that matter, once something like that happens, only a fool would let go of it without some serious, serious consideration. For now, let me contemplate on my next article 'How quantum mechanics can be used to improve the chaotic nature of a relationship'…see you when that happens.
By Asifur Rahman Khan
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