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Staying Power - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Staying Power
Sometimes I wonder how couples stay together for more than a year or two. I talk to friends who are struggling with growing pains in their three-month or six-month relationships and find my head spinning at the distance between that sort of bond and the one that Kim and I share. How did we make it this far?

In giving advice to my friends, I take a pretty firm approach, advising them to end relationships that seem destined for the dustbin. But then I second-guess myself. If Kim had taken that approach with me or if I had taken it with her, we wouldn't have made it out of the 1980s as a couple. Does that make my advice hyprocritical? Or is it merely a sign that I've changed a lot in the passage from 21 to 36?

When I think about what it means to start over, I'm overwhelmed with a sense of impossibility. It's hard enough staying coupled with someone you know backwards and forwards. The prospect of having to open oneself to the new in one's 30s or 40s is sublimely imposing. And yet, people still manage to fall in love, regardless of how densely they've fortified their psychic borders. I guess the right angle can always reveal the brittleness of our "public" façades. Still, it's hard for me to imagine the hardness breaking to pieces or, better yet, softening from the inside out.

Mode: recursive
Muse: Memories - Public Image Ltd. - Second Edition

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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

it's an age thing

There's some kind of urgency in the 30s and 40s and beyond that never set in during the 20s. I constantly hear people dating talking about where the relationship is going. Dating advice also seems to be all about teleology. What will happen with the relationship? Will people stay together? Should they break up? Somehow, in the 20s it didn't matter if people were together for a few years and then broke up, but now it does. As for Carrie and I, we were clueless and in college and just kept going.

And then there's the kid thing. If one person wants kids and the other doesn't, that becomes a dealbreaker in the 30s, anyway. Sometime in the 40s, I imagine, it dies back down as an issue.

--J
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: March 10th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: it's an age thing

I suppose you're right about the age thing. I tend to think less about age than other people my age. Maybe it's because I still don't feel "grown-up" in the sense my parents struck me as grown-ups.
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