Pragmatism in love and relationships with an expiry date

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As young people we tend to make decisions that don’t make us entirely happy but are good for now. Rarely in our professional lives do we start with jobs that we’re truly happy with. We still need to make the ends meet so we accept the situation for the time being. Relationships for many people seem to work in a similar way.

Some of us get into relationships knowing that they’re not good for us but we still go for them because there’s a strong attraction. Relationships with an expiry date, however, are these sort of relationships someone gets into because there’s no one better around. I used to be quite judgmental towards such arrangements but at the end of the day is there really anything wrong with them?

Human beings need companionship and affection. From what I’ve been observing people in these sorts of relationships of convenience are often happier than these constantly looking for perfection. Of course, it all depends on one’s idea of a relationship. If a person is looking mostly for someone to take places and cuddle up with at night this sort of arrangement works out perfectly. However, if one’s looking for a strong partnership and a relationship that works on all levels these arrangements will only cause them frustration.

My point is, it’s easy to criticize someone else. It’s okay if someone is our close friend and who’s looking for a deep connection but wastes their time on something that only works on a sexual level. Nevertheless, since the person is our friend we know what their definition of a (happy) relationship is. Often we don’t know what a person wants and yet we criticize them for not living up to OUR ideas of things.

What right do we have to judge others who operate according to a different set of rules that are alien to us? They’re content with what they have. With a relationship that’s good for now and if someone better comes their way they’ll move on. How is this pragmatism any worse than tears shed over a guy who treated you in this way but for whom you had “real” feelings?

It’s only when we act from the idealistic point of view of “real” connections and prince charmings that we can judge such situations. Only that so often, we ourselves got involved in the relationships that didn’t make sense and we knew it on some level. We just tend to idealize these liaisons because we suffered for them. Suffering, is what makes everything more noble in our minds filled with Disney ideals.

Is being pragmatic in the matters of heart really so bad? I don’t think so anymore. I think thOse that are aware that some things aren’t meant to last are better of than those who end up brokenhearted. I still believe, however, that in long term one should look for a partnership and a real deal rather than keep settling for band aids for loneliness.

What do you think about relationships with expiry date? Is idealism always better in love? Time for your opinion, Dear Rinser.

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15 comments

  1. See the issue with being in a bad relationship even if we know that’s not good for us but we have a strong attraction towards thought is you don’t account for someone getting pregnant by someone else who shows no incline of being responsible for the child or worse you’re left alone after finding out you’re with child. So no being in a relationship even though we know it’s not serving us any good is healthy for us. That’s not being judgmental that’s being honest.

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  2. I have had a few pointless relationships. Deep down I knew they were doomed to not last. Yet, I willing went under the reasons of: what if, could be fun, but he’s so cute, you never know…. I had fun and experiences I probably would have never had, but some pain came with that too. Were they worth it? Some were I guess for the sake of memories and adventures. But, I think others just hurt me by lowering my self worth when it ended. I beat myself up wondering how was I not enough, even when I knew they were wrong for me to begin with. Perhaps though, I just needed that relationship for a season and a lesson.

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  3. Have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I think every relationship, even the short term ones have a purpose even if they are a) a distraction from bigger life problems b) intended to help boose a persons ego or c) just a bit of fun. Every relationship is valuable and the ones that don’t work out teach us about ourselves and life, etc.

    However, I think many of us often kid ourselves into thinking – let me just try this out for a bit…a bit can often escalate into months, years, decades, etc and then it becomes difficult to let go. And people get hurt.

    Either way, I am learning we sometimes we need these short-term things to fill blank spaces between more meaningful relationships. Its better than sitting at home like a sad spinster complaining that it wouldn’t work with so and so because of x,y,z…

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    • I agree. I think world is just not a perfect place like we would like it and the semi meaningful relationships are supposed to be there. I think whether a person would drag them for too long depends on a person.

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  4. […] So, what have my recent experiences taught me? Well, there really is a fine line about what one should and shouldn’t reveal when it comes to dating. As a girl from the East End of London (just like Eliza) I don’t think anyone needs to be ashamed things that they have no control over such as their background – after all if a guy is the real deal he’ll love you no matter what(even if do you talk like a guttersnipe). And while I am in totally in favour of people keeping their narrow-minded, racist, homophobic backwater opinions to themselves, the truth is, given time and with you pushing the right buttons, a person’s true colours will always be revealed. Thankfully, in my case, it was a matter of weeks rather than years.  My advice in such situations is always trust your gut over everything else (I’m pretty sure it is right 99% of the time) and NEVER ignore red flags or make up lame excuses to prolong something you know has a expiry date! […]

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