I have a friend. I will call him Ray. Ray is a dapper youth, working towards his goals. Ray wants what young men want: family, career, great social circle, house and car. Ray has great taste in music and art, and is a loveable person, but Ray has a problem â he is quick to throw things away. Appliances get dumped upon first sign of malfunction. He has turned over high speed laptops and computers, which could have been remedied with a trip to tech-support, for something newer and shinier. He trades cars once the ânew car smellâ begins to fade. His garage is stacked with old and not so old appliances that he chucked to make way for the new appliances that he will eventually chuck.
Many people view relationships the way Ray views a flat screen TV. It is something from which they get pleasure; it could be delightfully distracting. Relationships require maintenance, but like Ray, many of us do not put in the effort, or we feel that maybe what we are doing is enough. That once-before thin layer of dust that builds up in the circuits of your 50â screen will eventually become a colony trading in static and undercurrents that will wreak havoc on the source of your delight. They, however, ignore or dismiss the signs as not that serious. So when the static builds up and the modem gets fried and the motherboard crashes (I know I just mixed my metaphoric devices, but work with me) the response of people like Ray is to toss it, to give up on the thing, just like that.
My intent is definitely to reduce the complexities of relationships to fixing appliances and electronic devices, but only because I see parallels between the ease with which we dispose of things in our consumer driven societies and our attitudes towards relationships (romantic and otherwise). Ray doesnât believe in fixing things. The process of fixing is hard, inconvenient, mentally exhausting, or at least it could be. The process requires time, patience, and work. Above all, fixing things first requires acknowledging a problem, crucial in relationships, and then having the courage or caring enough to get help. Expert input is required.
In the end, when it comes to repairing a broken thing, like a relationship, people need to decide if it is something that they want to repair in the first place, and if they do, decide how best to go about the repairs. There is something to say for trying.
So, who are you in relationships? Throw away Ray or Fix it Felicia?