“There is no feeling more comforting and consoling than knowing you are right next to the one you love.” ~unknown
After a brief respite, it is time once again to embark upon the epic journey to find the fifty doors of fulfillment. What better way to dive back into things than to explore the door that for many is the primary motivating factor in life: romantic relationships. Namely finding one’s PIC (partner in crime for those of you not familiar with Role Models). I’ll be the first one to admit this is an area of life I have yet to fully master (if I had a Facebook relationship status it would read “single and complicated”). Also, there is something to be said about waiting to embark on the journey for a romantic partner until one is ready. However, as complicated as I’ve found this area to be there have been some clear benefits I have observed over the years that may justify walking down this path eventually.
Physical contact with another human being does wonders for our sense of well-being. And before you get too excited, I’m not just talking about sex (If you want more on that, I’m sure Dr. Drew can help you out). While, few people would disagree with the importance of that element, my focus in on far more tamer levels of physical contact. Something as simple as a hug from someone you share a romantic connection with can cause the stress and problems in your life to melt away, if only for a moment. This calming effect enables us to overcome the weariness of life, while offering the same opportunity to another human being, making life both more tolerable and inclusive. Though, if your goal is to become the next Batman, the edge that comes from a lack of physical contact may be just what the doctor ordered.
The quest for love takes up a great deal of our time and effort. This is perhaps the most logical argument for why at some point it’s not a bad idea to find someone to settle down with. The romanticism of finding one’s soul mate dominates every aspect of our culture. There are countless movies, books, songs and even video games that propagate the epic journey to find one’s destined love (though some might say they are the reason for all the heartbreak in the world). As a result, many of us spend a great deal of our resources and mental effort on a quest to find this mythic individual at the expense of other pursuits. However, all of this becomes far less important once you finally find a satisfying relationship. You can focus on improving the lives of others, making the world a better place, or simply spend more time stopping and smelling the roses. Having someone eliminates the need to find someone. A simple joy that should not be underestimated.
Having a partner in life can help combat the forces of loneliness. We are all plagued at some point or other by a feeling of loneliness. In the immortal words of Ramona Flowers, “you are not alone you’re just having some idiotic dream.” In all seriousness, despite all the indicators pointing to the fact we are surrounded by people, the loneliness still creeps in. However, when we achieve the closeness often times found in a romantic relationships it is far more difficult for these insidious thoughts to sneak in. Furthermore, even if they manage to grab hold, there’s someone you can go to that will be interested in dispelling them. Something that is extremely helpful in a world struggling to maintain a sense of deep community as it becomes more connected on the surface.
While jumping head first into a relationship may not be the solution to life’s problems, there are many benefits to at least keeping the door open. The well-being that comes from having a physical and mental connection with someone makes it easier to confront the many challenges one will inevitably face. Furthermore, many of us find ourselves either consciously or unconsciously pursuing an idea difficult to realize thanks to the influence of romanticism on our culture. By finding that relationship that complements our life, we can work on finding greater meaning in all aspects of our existence. Meanwhile, for those of us still not convinced it’s a path worth traveling right now there are plenty of other doors to open in the meantime.