What’s the point of a relationship?

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Dear Megan,

So please answer this. We want to be in a relationship with someone we can depend on, but we aren’t supposed to depend on others emotionally.  So what’s the point of even being with anyone? Seems like a catch 22.

-Call Me Anything, But Don’t Call Me Needy

 


Dear “Needy” lol,

Hey, great question!  Thanks for writing! The answer is: sex.  Thanks, again!

Lol, just kidding…  Well, not really.  But I’m assuming you want a westernized, post-romantic era answer, so that, my friend, is what you will get ;)… (Oh, and since we’re dealing with romantic relationships here, I won’t go into those of the family/friend/co-worker/etc. variety, but I’m sure some of this stuff will still apply to them, too).

To begin with, let me just say that there was a time when I related to your confusion/frustration over relationships.  In “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” I even share the moment where I (metaphorically) shook my fist up at the sky and cursed the heavens for my seemingly unshakable desire for unconditional love with a rock-solid companion that seemed to prefer playing hide-and-seek with me.  So, yeah, you’ve definitely come to the right place.

And to answer your question, “What is the point of a relationship?” well, the answer is pretty much two-fold.  We enter relationships: (1) to enhance what we already have, and (2) to grow. 

Lemme explain. 

Dependability is a wonderful, feel-goody quality – (and since you’ve undoubtedly experienced what a lack of it in another feels like I’m pretty sure I don’t have to sell you on that trait) – hence why we desire it so much in a mate.  However, we were never meant to become dependent on others for anything we can give ourselves.

People are fickle.  And I say that not in a bitter “trust no one” tone, but in a “people got their own sh*t going on and therefore can’t be stable enough to meet your needs consistently” one.   Fortunately, we were all born with the ability to tap into whatever emotional reserves we need to buoy ourselves up at any given time, so we don’t need to depend on another for (emotional) oxygen when we have our own supply. (And while it might take some of us a while to find our own supply, trust me, it’s there.)

Does that make relationships useless?  Not really.

While I admit that relationships aren’t necessary for a happy and fulfilling life – (recall that I believe that nothing outside of yourself can make you happy) – nor do you need relationships for getting through tough times, observing and interacting with others in a harmonious and loving way just flat-out feels good.  And since loving and supporting yourself feels good, and others doing it to/with you feels good, you end up with an orgy of feel-goods!  Or, more academically speaking, we invite relationships into our life to compound good feelings. We just love the cherry-on-top fun, love, and support they can bring.

Less enthusiastically, we also get into relationships as a vehicle for growthWhen we open ourselves up emotionally to another, they’re then able to trigger things deep down inside of us that we subconsciously want to heal or change for further expansion/growth.  That’s why a “soulmate” can bring you both great joy, and great misery.  Facing stuff inside of you that you don’t like and want to change can range from feeling slightly uncomfortable to downright painful.  Nonetheless, that person’s ability to “get to you” is why you entered into a relationship with them.  Whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not.  (Sorry, lol.)

So, there you have it, “Needy.”  The point of a relationship is to magnify whatever you got goin’ on at the time.  Whether you want to compound the awesomeness you’re experiencing, the support you need, and/or just become aware of something undesirable inside of you, “there’s a significant other for that.”

Just make sure that your “want” for a relationship doesn’t turn into a “need” if you want to reap the full benefits of all the wonderful stuff relationships have to offer. Otherwise you’ll keep finding yourself stuck in Oz, when, like Dorothy, you have the power to get yourself home all along.  Best of luck!

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

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How to live a life with no regrets

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Dear Megan,

I am 26 years old and embarking on the latter half of my 20’s. I am at a bit of a stand still right now with what I want to do with these last four years of my 20’s. 

What is something you wish you did when you were in your 20’s? 

Thank you in advance for your help!

-In a ‘YOLO’ State of Mind

 


Dear “In a ‘YOLO’ State of Mind,”

Ahhh…  A girl after my own heart.  I remember thinking the very same thing as if it were yesterday, (probably because I’m in my early thirties), and anyone who knows me has heard me say, “You couldn’t pay me to go back to my 20s.”  Why?  Because, like you, in an effort to not squander the decade where total freedom and tons of self-discovery meet and say “Whazzzuuuppp!!!!” I consciously decided to take full advantage of it.  I did everything I wanted to do, and if I liked it, I did it twice.

To be clear, in my 20s I:

Got a college degree, left a cushy job in Hollywood, broke up with the awesome guy I started dating in high school, moved cross-country, went to and dropped out of law school, got married to an amazing guy, got a dog, dived into the performing arts, got divorced, discovered ex-husbands can make the best best-friends, said goodbye to a dog, wrote my first book, had a threesome, traveled to a crap-load of countries, lost all my money, started a business, made a shit ton of money, drove a car through a guy’s house for being a jerk, bought property, bought my first dream car, paid off my student loans, dated a surreal amount of men, including some of the most interesting men in the world, pled guilty in front of a judge, moved cross-country again, learned that volunteer work can be very rewarding, made very little money in the stock market, lost very little money in the stock market, thought I fell in love with a boy overseas two or three times, lost friends, made friends, partied my ass off, and started giving a huge shit about my mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional health.

To be even clearer, my budding “young, wild, and free” lifestyle did not come without its fair share of unexpected, and sometimes undesirable, consequences, as I referenced in “The Dirty Little Secret to Living the Life of Your Dreams.”  But was it all worth it?  Helllllsss yeah.

So, outside of maybe trying to meet Justin Bieber, I can’t really say I have an “I wish I had done ‘x’ in my 20s” regret.  I made it a point to not assume that tomorrow is promised, and about once or twice a year I’d compile a “If I were to die in 2 months, what would I do with my remaining time” list.  Then, I’d look at the list and go about doing whatever the hell was on it.  I took full responsibility for my experience on this earth, and didn’t place my happiness in the future.  I was going to do whatever I wanted to do, or die trying.

So, enjoy this time in your life, “In a YOLO State of Mind.”  Dive deep into exploring your interests, no matter how scattered and pointless they may seem, because it’ll all make sense later.  And unless you bring a life into this world, or take one out, pretty much every other consequence is short-term, so don’t be afraid to take risks.  Be brave, and don’t take life too seriously.  After all, nobody gets out alive.  Best of luck.

Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.