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The Ubiquitous “We”

When I was jilted and single, the thought of ever entering another relationship that resulted in discarding the “I” for the “we” was alarming and unacceptable. Having devoted my life to the “we” only to realize that a “we” can quickly turn into “me” was not something I wanted ever again. I spent a long time and many tears figuring out how to go from two letters to one, and finally when I figured it out? Scott happened.

I say this with love, obviously, but not without a slight bit of hesitation.  How far should one go to let go of the I for the we?

Recently on Twitter (and by someone who had JUST unfollowed us) there was a comment that she was horrified by couples who turn into “we” couples.  I was equally horrifed by her remark, and it sent me into a long protracted rumination on what it means to be a “we” couple or an “I” couple.   I think that a perfect marriage of the two (pun intended) is exactly what leads to a healthy, balanced relationship.

In my first relationship, it was all about WE. WE like this, WE watch that, WE went here – and so on and so forth. I lost track of my friends and my interests to a adopt a dubious role as housewife and domestic diva. Both titles which do not suit me in the slightest. It wasn’t until years into my relationship that I started to break out of the mold WE created and rediscovered passions and pursuits that I once loved.  I was young and didn’t realize the importance of maintaining hobbies and friends who were more my own than ours.

Along came divorce. And that was the most isolated and singular time in my life. I found ways to reimagine myself and create an “I” again; redecorating, exploring new people and places, and finding outlets for my creative capacities that had long since been ignored. I became territorial of my space and my apartment, and I allowed the “I” and the insecurities define me, much to the detriment of true happiness.

I think when you meet the right person, the person you are meant to walk through life with hand in hand, all of the sudden you realize that you can have it all. Scott is that person. He transformed my notion that it was either one or the other – he allows me to maintain that identity that I worked hard to find – he respects it,  he supports it. He is excited about the things I am most passionate, but doesn’t try to adopt them if they don’t naturally fit.

At the same time, I know that at the end of the day, WE make decisions that are healthy for US. As a couple. As a team. We continuously (and gladly) think about the things that would make the other one most happy, and we derive great pleasure out of doing those things for each other.  He has my back, he is my biggest advocate and greatest ally.

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There is a difference between  being smothered in a relationship and being comfortable in one. There should be an allowance for individual interests and time with individual friends. However, we have also formed an identity together that makes sense. We are individuals who have found our right positions on this team, and that’s ok with us. And while some may judge, our plan is to go “WE WE WE all the way home”.

What are your thoughts? What works for you?

-Al

More about Al

1 Comment

    1. I always taught my kids that the most important part of a relationship is to respect the other person. Accepting partners for the individuals they are is pivotal to a lasting relationship. My husband and I have been together for 33 years and I can truly say our interests do not always coincide but we find enough “we” time to make the “me” time ok too. Some of the deepest love I have for him comes out of knowing how much he supports me in my passions that are not his, and vice versa. The time and interests we do share are thus so much sweeter. Sounds like you two are on the road to being a very happy WE.

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