The above song spawned this post, and I think it’s a fantastic song (can't see the video? click here)…. But the concept of a breaking point in relationships shouldn’t be limited to women, rather it should be recognized as gender neutral thing, as it is something that both men and women experience.
Relationships come about because two people find themselves attracted to one another in some fashion. Conventionally, it’s a physical attraction that occurs when two people see each other. However, in the digital era, online dating has grown in popularity as well, and this brings a different aspect to the dating game. When it comes to dating in SL, you’re most common attraction will be to someone’s personality over their looks, as their real life looks are generally secondary in discovery. Anyway, two people connect on some level, this connection is explored, the relationship is formed, and the fun begins.
You have the honeymoon period, where everything is butterflies and rainbows, and they decide they’ve fallen in love, and so on and so forth. SL weddings are planned, prim babies are ordered, and everything is awesome. Until that moment when they honeymoon period ends. Now this doesn’t happen at the same time for everyone, and not every couple will react the same to it. Some couples will make it over that hurdle successfully where others will crash into it and shatter.
I keep talking about a breaking point, but I haven’t broken it down for you my way, and in terms of people and relationships in SL... Maybe I should get to that, eh?
Everyone has their own breaking point. For some people, the breaking point comes quick, while others seem to put up with a lot before they hit theirs. Basically a breaking point is the moment when a person decides that enough is enough, and they’re not going to settle anymore. They say “You get what you settle for, and you settle for what you think you’re worth.” I believe that rings very close to the truth. The less you think of yourself, the lower your standards will be and the more likely that you’re going to be unhappy with how the relationship goes.
So, in theory, based on the end of that last paragraph, you’d think that the relationship would end quickly. Quite the opposite is more likely. The more probable scenario is that the person who thinks less of themselves will tolerate a lot more, because they may feel like they can’t do better or perhaps they deserve to be treated this way. This, naturally, isn’t typically true at all. The biggest barrier they have in being truly happy is often themselves. They don’t see beyond their own misery because they have trouble seeing outside of the box they’ve placed themselves in. I’d venture to say that it’s the most common relationship situation in existence, because generally speaking, people are easily manipulated into thinking the worst of themselves.
On the flip side of this, you have those who reach that breaking point quickly. They might be the type to jump in and out of relationships at what seems like a weekly rate. They’re typically never satisfied and commonly unhappy with themselves. It’s the opposite of those with a low opinion of themselves. When it comes to the honeymoon ending, they not only stumble, they trip over their own shoelace and barely avoid an embarrassing faceplant. This type usually thinks themselves superior in some way, whether it’s warranted or not, and perhaps directly related to the SIDWs that I dedicated my previous entry to. The reasons for them dumping the ones left in their wake vary in degree, but are often things that seem menial or trivial to those who don’t mimic the same relationship pattern. Or they’ve possibly decided the grass is greener in someone else’s yard, and they’ve already begun sniffing around and need to clear the way. They make the best examples for “misery loves company” situations because they feel that everyone should share their moment.
Somewhere in between you have a good balance of a healthy self-image and appreciation for what’s acceptable in a relationship and what’s not. This is the least common and most coveted scenario because these are the people who manage to buck against the odds and achieve happiness. They are able to clear the hurdle of the honeymoon period ending and walk away with only minor scrapes and bruising. The ones in this situation have learned to respect one another, as well as appreciate each other, and don’t necessarily feel like they’re hitting that breaking point very often. In terms of couples in SL, these are the relationships that last longest, and often go RL. Most of us know at least one couple, some of us are fortunate to know several, and the majority of us feel some sense of envy that we haven’t achieved the same. This is what we strive for, what most of us feel is beyond our grasp.
Whatever category the relationship falls into, one must remember that perfection is just a word, and it’s something that needs to be defined by each person for themselves, not just by a dictionary. What keeps people together past the relationship’s expiration date is a fear of being alone and a belief that you need another person to make you feel better about yourself. Reality is, you need to find out how to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with another person; how to love yourself, before you can love another person. A breaking point is when you say “fuck you” to the fear, to the bullshit, to the games, the lies, the tears. Breaking points can be good, not all relationships are meant to be forever, and some should have never been.
Where’s your breaking point?