“I can do anything I want.
Be with anyone I want.
And it’ll be my choice.”
― Tahereh Mafi
Everyone wants their significant other to be loved by their family, but experience has shown that it isn't always the case.
My family is made up of different characters with me being the hardest of all, or so most people assume thanks to my outspoken nature and disregard for the norm. My sisters, on the other hand, seemed fairly easy to deal with; but, one of them isn’t exactly easy to please.
Though calm and nice, she never sidelined an opportunity to make it clear how she felt about the guys I dated; it was no secret she didn’t want me around them and wasn’t so happy having them by her either.
She didn’t like them because they were “strangers”, and as a selective introvert, not everyone made it to her very shallow list of friends. I knew if the guy hadn’t made it through yet, there was a good reason for that and there was little or nothing I could do to change her mind.
I spent more time with them than she did and could tell who they were. She, on the other hand, placed her judgement on first time meetings or hearsay; maybe instinct. My expectation wasn’t for them to become the best of friends after a few meetings. I did hope a day would come when she saw how good a person they were and eventually become friends, but that’s all I could have; “hope”.
Some things take time; especially when it comes to relationships.
As time went by, she became close to some but others were just unlucky and didn’t make it to her friend list. Whenever we have lazy talks about this today, she still admits she didn’t like one particular guy and gave me a few reasons why.
This taught me a very important lesson, there are people your family will not like at the beginning, but with time the relationship will mend itself. However, others will never change and that should be okay by you. Even if you feel otherwise, there’s really very little you can do to change that.
Not once did I leave someone just because my sister thought they weren’t right for me or whatever reason she had at the time. It was her point of view and she had a right to have one, however, the relationship was mine and so was the choice to leave or stay.
Patrick Rothfuss wrote this quote which fueled my walk throughout my relationships.
“Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
It’s common to have people ask me “why” I chose to be in a relationship. Most often, I have a long list of valuable qualities that I believe everyone has or should have seen in this person. Sometimes people agree with me, other times they don’t. This question is important to help tick out the “because” of every decision I make, which is usually the sweeter part as compared to the “despite”.
A list of “despite” categorizes the negatives, leaving me with two choices; compromise or walk away.
My sister happened to be among the list of “despite”. I chose to be there despite what she thought or felt.
We have to make some compromises on the way if we need to have long-lasting relationships. In my case, I had to accept that she didn’t like these people and she had to accept my choice. That way, whenever we met, everyone was on their best behaviour and boundaries respected. I didn’t expect certain actions from her and we made it work.
You don’t have to like or agree with someone’s choice or opinion to be respectful and nice. Compromise is used by the wise, and it leads to peace and lasting relationships.