The fatigue of familiarity.

Familiarity is a necessary ingredient for any loving relationship but too much of it can ruin our relationship; familiarity is like salt, the right amount is savory and healthy, yet too much is unpleasant and unhealthy. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that there is no such thing as being too close to the person that we’re in love with, so we disrobed ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally for him or her to see the fullness of our nakedness. Unfortunately, the alluring nature of love isn’t sufficient to override our human nature, especially our territorial nature. But being that we fear losing love, we tend to hold on to it too tight; not giving it enough room to breathe. Yet love is at its healthiest when it’s occasionally given a brief leave of absence so that it remembers what it feels like to miss the person who it loves. When we don’t give the person who we love the opportunity to miss us; he or she can become forgetful of why he or she loves us in the first place.

The merging of two lives into one has long been the anthem of love and the theme song of matrimony, so much so that we’ve convinced ourselves that one bed is big enough for the sharing of two egos for years and even decades. However, the ego is very protective of its individuality, and to the ego, there’s a thin line between intimacy and the intrusion of privacy; but love blurs the visibility of this line. Intimacy is the glowing aura of love that penetrates the deepest depths of us, it shines itself upon our privacy, but at times it penetrates so deep that it comes face to face with our ego. And this sometimes leads to conflicts between a love that tends to overshare itself and the ego that doesn’t like to share all of itself, but rather to preserve some of itself for itself. Some would argue that it’s healthy for us to share all of ourselves with the person we love, even our private thoughts. But just as the body suffers from fatigue and needs rest to rejuvenate itself; our relationship sometimes suffers from the fatigue of familiarity and needs a brief leave of absence to rejuvenate itself. A relationship is a human art that we’ve yet to master; when we enter into a relationship, we quickly get rocked to sleep by the comfort of familiarity which deprived us of the pleasure we originally get from the art of pursuit. This is what Pierre- Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais meant when he said ” At last I have want I wanted. Am I happy? Not really. But what’s missing? My soul no longer has that piquant activity conferred by desire… oh, we shouldn’t delude ourselves — pleasure isn’t in the fulfillment, but in the pursuit.”

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