Seasonal vs Millennial Relationships pt 2

14 03 2014

In our last entry and encounter with Living Single, we talked about the differences between seasonal and millennial relationships.  In the first part we specifically examined the seasonal relationships in our lives that we encounter, those with an emotional attachment and those without. 

As a recap, seasonal relationships are those that simply exist for a short period of time, and then after that period of time is over, the relationship ceases to exist.  It doesn’t mean that it was a waste of time or a useless pursuit, it just means that the time has come for forward movements.

Personally, the relationships that take up the most of my time and the most of the areas in my heart are those relationships that are what I call, Millennial.  When I think of that word, I think of the word that was thrown around circa 2000, when we talked about how we were going and entering into the new “millennium.”  Which was really weird to think about, and is weird to think about, what with the whole misunderstandings of the Y2K phenomenon and of course, the ever-present “end times” prophecies.  (Additionally, personally I think Jesus is sitting up in heaven laughing at all of these end-times prophets and yelling “psych!” whenever they are, yet again, proven wrong, but that’s just me.)  Anyways, I say all of that to incite the meaning of millennial, as being a really, really long time.  The differences between millennial relationships and seasonal relationships are the type of commitment that is made.  Sometimes, it’s a conscious commitment and sometimes it is a commitment that is just simple fact. 

Obvious Millennial RelationshipsOkay, that’s a lame title, I know, but these are the types of relationships that you keep that you seemingly have no real choice in the matter.  Yup, I’m talking about family.  There was never a time where I felt like I had to choose my family, and it was just obvious that I was going to be committed to them regardless of what happened.  My family, particularly on my father’s side, have been there for me through everything.  And I do mean everything.  To think of not sharing my life with my grandparents, my father or my aunt and uncle…the thought is unfathomable.  These are obvious because these are choices that you haven’t ever had to make, they’ve just already decided on you.  When I was born into my family, I was accepted by my family and taken in as one of their own.  They raised me, cleaned my butt, taught me right and wrong, and still teach me more about growing up.  But they made a commitment to me, to raising me and being there for me, come what may.  Because of that commitment, I also made the likewise commitment to them, to take care of them in their old age, bring them things and help out when needed.  My commitment to them is a response to their obvious commitment to me. 

Now, let me include something here….I recognize accept and affirm those who have sucky families and sucky people who raised them.  I affirm their belief that maybe their family sucks and they’re selfish and whatever.  But, you have to admit, there’s still a part of you that is tied to them.  My mom should not have been a mother.  She really shouldn’t have.  She was mentally sick, (not that this is why you shouldn’t be a parent) but she gave up on trying to fight her disease and instead, took out all of the side-effects of her disease on me and my family.  I did not have the perfect home environment, she abused and eventually disowned me first.  But there is something that tells me one day that when she dies, I will probably go through the motions of closing out her estate and all of that other stuff.  Because I have to.  And there’s a part of me that wishes it were different and I had that biological parent connection, but I know it is better for me that I don’t.  But in the meantime, I have taken on other mothers who became my parent and helped raise me where she did not.  And if your family life was sucky, I am sure that there are other parental figures you have substituted instead of biological connections.

Chosen Millennial CommitmentsThese are my favorite, personally.  There is something to be said for that family connection, but for me, the commitments I have chosen and that someone has made to me, those mean more to me.  So often, the biggest commitment that someone chooses is that of the spouse that they have chosen to spend the rest of their life with.  These are the people that certain people have chosen to love and accept, come what may, despite all of the annoying things that person may do that drives them crazy, or the special circumstances that this person requires…the whole package is accepted, and not just part of it.  I am so fortunate to have found some very special and very rare friends who have committed themselves to our relationship as it continues to grow, no matter what happens. 

This is extremely rare.  And it is extremely unselfish, and grows difficult.  Relationships are hard work, and if you’re not willing to do the hard grunt work occasionally, or think that relationships should be super-easy, you are not the type of person that needs to spend your time with people, particularly in dating people.  I’m not going to apologize for being severe here, I’m being honest.  If you’re not willing to look past the eye boogers, or the bad breath in the morning, or the temper when frustrated, or the art of getting to know how a person communicates, you should not be pursuing a person with the intentions of dating them, because eventually, the relationship will get tough and you may get irritated with them, and what will you do then?  Ignore them?  Drop them?  That’s not fair to them.  Yes, you must be willing to recognize how hard that relationships are and how rare it is to find someone who you can care about in a special way, and you must realize that anything this special does not come with some hard work, some self-sacrifice and some thinking of someone other than yourself.  When you can do that, and when you can commit or are willing to commit to someone throughout all of that, then you’re ready to start thinking about dating.  Woah, that’s a tangent there.  But you get the idea….committed chosen relationships are a choice.  They are a concrete decision that you make to stay regardless of what goes on, so that you can enjoy the benefits of commitment. 

These are the two types of relationships that last.  These are the ones that I would bet money on.  To survive.  To thrive.  And if they fail, it is failure after a lot of difficult, hard work.  And it is heartbreaking failure.  Devastating failure.   Failure you may not survive. 

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