The beauty of the third space: Relationships against career
Gary D.Chapman, in his New York Times Best-seller: The 5 Love languages depicts some of the most wonderful ways to live a fulfilling life by understanding your partner. It’s one of the best pieces of literature written on the relationships between a husband and a wife.
But the truth is more and more people around the world are becoming alone in today’s world. In a world of competition, you barely stop to look at yourself, and your priorities often shift from your relationships.
Although the advent of electronics in daily life have shrunk the earth into your palm, and you can reach out to friends all over the world in a matter of seconds, yet each and everyday people become more and more alone inside.
The years between 20 to 35 are the worst. Whether you are a Man or woman, whether you are in India or in Hawai, this is the age when you are struggling to make a mark in the world, create a space of your own.
You are also trying to create a family perhaps, or at least are in your best emotional age, spending time and thought on your relationships. It is often extremely difficult to balance the two, and more often than not – impossible. One or the other gets neglected.
Between a husband and a wife or between partners, relationships suffer.
While there are several reasons to this, the one I would like to talk about today is the absence of a ‘third space’.
The ‘third space‘ in a romantic relationship, in simple words, is that space which gives you emotional contentment apart from your partner.
That could be a book, it could be music, it could be a different passion which you have always loved, for some it can even be solving mathematical puzzles or playing chess. But it must be something you have chosen out of no compulsion, out of your own spontaneity. You may also call it a ‘Hobby” but what I am trying to mean here is something which can engulf you, make you passionate, really involve you entirely.
If you don’t have a third space – find it out!!
Pick up that guitar once again after so many years, make your fingers bleed playing it, get the passion back!! Buy that canvas stand and start drawing those beautiful pictures you always wanted to draw. Pick up that camera, come out on a chilly Winter morning, just to click some snaps on the marshy backwaters behind your home. Or just take the car out and go for a long drive……keep the windows open and enjoy the breeze.
It will save you someday. Think of what interests you, what was it you always wanted to do when you were young? Think of what makes you happy!!
In today’s world we have thousands of options to wander about. The human mind was never meant to stay stagnant and it won’t be. You must accept the fact that your mind will wander about looking for new ways to find excitement in life, and so will the mind of your better half. If you accept that you will understand the importance of what I am saying.
You might be with the love of your life now, and that love may be eternal. I am sure it is. But believe me, it is naïve to think that the love of your partner alone will keep you happy throughout your life. No matter how beautiful, people become accustomed to good things really fast. It takes extreme creativity and extreme thoughtfulness to make every day exciting, and after a while you often stay in the shadow of the romance you once had for each other, reminiscing over the life which is long gone.
But there is a trick to stay that way.
Create this third space for yourself.
When you can, retire to your third space and take the pressure off your spouse or your partner to keep you happy. Let the space completely engulf you, like there was nothing in between. When you come out of it, it will be like waking up from sleep, fully rejuvenated and fresh. You will have regained your energy to face the world again, and to make every day memorable for you and your partner.
If you are happy alone, you will be happy together. Think about it.
If your happiness depends on someone else, as Romantic as it sounds, its not a good place to be. After a while, that other person will not be able to bear that pressure. Create the space for yourself. You need it.
This prevents extra marital affairs, social depression, mid-life crisis and that void.
It keeps you truly complete in all respects.
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