I'm beginning to suspect that Sheldon Cooper wasn't all wrong when it came to having a roommate agreement. I think all relationships should have a written contract. In marriages, the pre-nup is becoming quite the norm, but what about boyfriends and living-together-ness? In India, more than anywhere else, where the whole boyfriend-girlfriend thing is still quite nascent, given the background noise of "arranged marriages', it becomes of even greater import. Also, I'm sure it would be easier to navigate a relationship if there's a clearly set down roster of needs and expectations.
This entire thing has come to the forefront of my thoughts because I currently find myself in an un-relationship. The truth is while there's nothing really going on, this un-relationship is showing all the markings of something that could possibly strangle it.
Take for example the idea of space. In my life, space plays a very important role in my well-being. As a writer, I need a certain amount of space to think, stare at my ceiling in contemplative silence, listen to my fan as it turns creakily, watch mindless TV shows, etc. But mostly I need solitude.
Now insert into this picture, a boy apparently with a lot of time on his hands. To this time, he brings an almost continuous conversational chatter, the demands of "what do we eat / drink / watch / play / do?", the sweet yet cloying amorous advances. Add to this the demands of my regular day of meetings and deadlines and friends... I don't have a moment to myself!
Don't get me wrong, it's all very sweet and incredibly flattering. But I do have moments of supreme irritation. Like today, when he told me that he was going to meet some friends in another suburb, I found myself changing my going-out plans because i'd finally have the house to myself! I won't even talk about the number of times I've stepped out of my home simply because he was there, and I needed to get away. And I'll never breathe a word about the amount of that getaway time I've spent driving and making phonecalls. What a train-wreck!
Which brings me here. If having a relationship is about adding value to your life, and not just about driving you up the wall, then one needs to look at things which make your life full of value. In my case, it's my work.
I love writing. And reading. I like to watch films in the comfort of my home. I like to eat when I'm hungry and not so much otherwise. I like my glass of wine. Sometimes I have a lot of it. I love to hang out with biggish groups of friends. I like having independent and complicated relationships with people. I like giving all the people in my life one-on-one time. I like the fact that I'm not accountable to anyone. I enjoy sex but some days I'd rather read a book before i sleep. I like the freedom to not do something including opening the door or wearing clothes if it's that kind of day. I don't love having to keep the contents of my life a secret from my friends, even though it often works out that way.
(Yes, I can see why I've been single for so long.)
Notice the absence of "I love the way a man looks at me when he loves me" and other such lines? I realize it could be a result of having been single or in complicated scenarios for the last five years, but I find myself anti-mush. And in the spirit of Anti-Mushness, I feel there should be certain guidelines for every relationship to follow.
*Replace what you finish, fix what you break.
*Stay over only ____ number of days a week, and only ______ number of days back-to-back.
*If you're living together, make his-only and hers-only inviolate spaces in the house.
*Spend atleast 6 continuous hours away from each other during the day. This does not include sleep time.
*Spend time together outdoors.
*Make time to meet your pre-relationship friends as a single person. Don't hide away your partner, but don't be surgically attached either.
This is clearly a work in progress. While I work out the other details, maybe I should just have quoted Kahlil Gibran.