I must confess I was not the perfect catch for my first girlfriend. I often wonder if I was in a relationship at all. She complained to her bosom buddy I did not so much as hold her hand. Yet, we were ‘seeing’ each other. There was attraction, yet something radically undefined about that arrangement. I use the term ‘arrangement’ only in retrospect, mind you. Back then, I prided myself on having a girlfriend.
Truth be told, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. She deserved a lot more attention than she received. Forget public display of affection, there was a glaring lack of the private variety. Not that we were ever completely by ourselves. In hindsight, maybe being cooped up in a room with his girlfriend would have exacted something from this bashful young man. The pimples dotting his adolescent face had long left. The shyness had remained.
What is the actual starting point of a relationship?
What is the actual starting point of a relationship?Shutterstock
Years later, a girl I met for marriage told me after a month-long courtship that I was a really nice guy. This was because I had not kissed her yet. At least that is what her best friend had her believe. Friends and their interventions.
Do the dynamics of love change against the backdrop of marriage? What if I were seeing the second girl without any intent of wedlock, and had not plastered her with kisses after the first few dates? I would probably be “not so nice”. To kiss, or not to kiss, that is the question.
What even is a relationship? I get that the word implies a connection, but what does it mean when you say you are “going around” with someone? Does it mean you are running round trees with them, like in the movies? Might it imply that all you are doing is running around in circles, because you have absolutely no clue what love even means? To be precise, what is the actual starting point of a relationship?
David Harbour, among the stars of one of Netflix’s highest viewed shows, Stranger Things, confessed to GQ the exact moment he fell in love with his British musician and actor wife, Lily Allen. Admitting to having been brutally honest with her about his life, he goes on to say: “It would take a really extraordinary person to be accepting of the things that I said. And I remember thinking: Wow, that’s somebody I want to be around.”
Most relationships do not need that much. People might say relationships are sealed with kisses. Not in my case. My first kiss in a rickshaw was just a tender moment between a boy and a girl. Years later, a lingering kiss in a car had me proclaim with wild abandon, “This is it! I’m officially in a relationship once more!” Is that the underlying assumption of every relationship? That you are in love? If that is true, most relationships would be non-existent. Sharing a life with someone does not imply you love them. All it means is the connection you share is strong enough to warrant sharing a space with them.
I might have liked a girl that loved me and loved a girl that liked me
Assuming we rule out a kiss from christening a relationship, what actually cements one?Pixabay
There is no denying you can sustain perfectly robust relationships online. I once fell in love with a girl I had chatted with over the internet for the longest time on finally hearing her voice over the telephone. And I had never even seen her. No need for the relationship to be consummated with the likes of bad boy smooches.
Ephemeral marriages abound, where majestic shernis, unsatisfied by licentious babbar shers, who in turn shamelessly frolic with playfully biting billis, seek the company of other men. If only to have someone listen to them. Ask them about their day.
Assuming we rule out a kiss from christening a relationship, what actually cements one? Is it saying “I love you”? Might having your partner say “I love you, too” indicate the cutting of the relationship ribbon? Or could it be the moment you rush to your lover’s home in the middle of the night with a flask of hot soup, all because they are having the sniffles?
I remember whenever a girl caught my fancy, I would describe the experience as ‘liking’ her. I have liked more girls than I have loved, and there have been girls who have liked and loved me, too. I might have liked a girl that loved me and loved a girl that liked me. Nevertheless, a loveless relationship will have you gravitate to find love elsewhere. Like in a supermarket with the hunk flirting unabashedly with you. He is buying milk as toned as his abs (you have mentally undressed him, of course), while you guiltily put that packet of potato chips back. You might even scour Tinder and end up finding babbar sher with a picture of the two of you on your honeymoon.
What else is there, but love?
Creating multiple sparks, yet not a single flame
While making love is a beautiful way to express love, it is not paramount in a relationshipPixabay
Love needs no proclamations like “let’s see each other” or answers to questions like “Will you be my girlfriend?”. Passion levels soar until the wick of the lust candle burns out and you are left wondering, “Was that all there was to love?”. Babies were not on your mind when romance was fresh out of the oven.
Why don't we break up?
There's nothing left to say
I've got my eyes shut
Praying they won't stray
And we're not sexed up
That's what makes the difference today
I hope you blow away
— Robbie Williams, Sexed Up
I would not go as far as Robbie. God bless his soul. Your relationship might be largely or completely sexless but you might still be in it for love. While making love is a beautiful way to express love, it is not paramount in a relationship. What is integral is a sense of connectedness, one that fosters a feeling of being in the same room with someone even when they are miles away. If sex is your primary focus, you will be incessantly striking matches. Creating multiple sparks, yet not a single flame.
Sexual relations. Love relationships. Bodies and souls. There is an unspoken moment a relationship begins. You just know.You love them. And they love you, too.
Rohit Trilokekar is a novelist from Mumbai who flirts with the idea of what it means to love. His heart’s compass swerves ever so often towards Kolkata, the city he believes has the most discerning literary audience.