Monday, February 8, 2010

The No-Demands Relationship

I’ve had one of these.

It’s been quite rare in my life.

I associate “relationship” with having to do a lot of things you don’t want to do. In exchange for this hard work, your partner has to do a lot of things she doesn’t want to do. You get to make demands on each. If you don’t want out, you can get fused and lose your own integrity.

That’s what I was used to.

Then along came a no-demands relationship. “I want you to come to shul with me,” I said.

“Why would you want me to do something I don’t want to do?” she said.

“Because that’s how I understand relationships,” I said.

And then I racked my brain for examples of when she had asked me to do things I didn’t want to do. And in a year together, I could not come up with a single example. For instance, even though she hated the beard, she never asked me to shave it.

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