You have rooted for a relationship and you made it. Congratulations! You are swinging high on the romance carousel. The question now in your mind is this: How am I going to go about maintaining this precious pearl of love so that neither time nor troll ever demolishes it?
“I am going to play it fair.” Proposition 50-50. We slice the cake half-and-half. You give this much, I’ll give in proportion to your contribution. Hmmm….. Seems like a deal hard arguing against, except that it might not work. Insisting on fairness may end up undermining your love.
If we compare the idea of romantic love with a business partnership, then it would be reasonable to expect a return on investment. It is sheer madness not to expect it. Because I am committing to you, I demand to be loved back, to be cherished, and so on. In this scenario we treat love as a contract where the parties agree to fulfill their share of stipulations. When love shifts to marriage the stakes rise higher as our roles acquire new dimensions and responsibilities.
Problem is, romantic love is not a business. What if my inventory runs out and my resources depleted? Should I bail out and call off the relationship because he or she can’t comply with their part of the deal? “He is not calling as much.” “She doesn’t text first, anymore.” “She forgets my birthdays.” “He won’t initiate sex.” Let me be fair then: I won’t call as much, I am going to stop texting first, I am going to forget her birthdays. And forget about me spreading my legs.
Now you are at a standoff. Anger and resentment grows. Your stance for fairness has morphed into payback. Do you see where your little game of tit-for-tat is going?
Give it all or don’t get in.
Seriously, why are you getting into a relationship in a half-baked attitude and a mediocre disposition? Sure enough, nothing is ever certain in love and romance. People enter into relationships in ambivalence all the time, not knowing what to expect. We don’t have all the answers. No wonder that love is thought to be blind. But it is only blind if you so designate it. It doesn’t have to.
The misery in your relationship has to do with the failure to ask the hard questions at the beginning and face up the difficult conversations that will define your relationship. If you are married the reason you are not sexing up regularly might have to do with failing to create the right kinds of intimacy in other areas. It could be you don’t ask for sex and you don’t dare to initiate it on a regular basis or on special occasions. You are afraid to talk about sex. It is possible your notions of sex are totally rotten and distorted: ” I will only give him sex if he deserves it.” There you go champ! Your righteous fairness has turned you into a manipulative hag of sorts and now the chickens are roasted for you to taste on a later date. You are well on your way to engineering your own demise.
If you are a diligent lover and partner, you may want to set aside this mindset of fairness. Sorry again, but 50-50 isn’t going to cut it. You might have to render 110 percent ! Genuine Christ ones give it all, as Christ gave his everything for the world. He held nothing back and you shouldn’t either because the other party fails to deliver. Geez dude, wouldn’t that invite abuse and turn me into a loser doormat of a man? First of all, if you are in an abusive, manipulative relationship, how did you get in there in the first place? If you are starting out on the dating circuit and getting acquainted, resist the urge to advance further if you see red flags of selfishness, malice, stalking behavior, insanity, and commitment phobia. For your peace of mind and safety’s sake don’t ignore major character flaws in your potential beau. You should never think of marrying someone detrimental to your well being. Duck a bullet. Avoid bedding the Devil with the intention later to convert her into an Angel. Worst case scenario is that your tryst will hatch another Devil out of you too. You may degenerate into playing by their rules and vice and thus perpetuate the madness. It is better to have a bitter end that endless bitterness. So cut yourself loose while you have the chance. It is not worth risking your life or future with someone not worth your dignity and self-respect.
Fair does not work in relationships because we are dealing with flawed human nature. You are not married to Jesus, for God’s sake. If that were so he would ensure you obtain your fifty percent of the deal one hundred percent of the time. People get sick. Mental incapacity sets in. We are subject to lay offs and unemployment, emotional and intellectual maladies, and general sinfulness and frailty and death. Humans falter. People change. If your spouse gets injured and becomes bed-ridden, are you going to resent him for not being there for you? Christian duty summons you to love him sacrificially and unconditionally. And even if he is not incapacitated, you don’t stop being courteous and generous because he on occasions forgets to or is careless. You never stop loving because he or she is falling behind or pulling back. This side of existence one hundred percent commitment is not going to happen one hundred percent of the time. It is not a fair proposition, I know. But Christianity is not about fairness. It is about grace and mercy to the undeserving. If you regard these virtues as not palatable, then Christ isn’t for you. Truth is there will come a time sooner or later where you will need mercy and grace. But if you insist on fairness, you may end up receiving neither.