Vikki and I had our 17th anniversary on the 18th October. She was just 17 when we got together (nearly 18 – her birthday is on 23rd), but that small fact means that I have been a part of her life for HALF of her life. That is crazy.
What is crazier though is the fact that we have made it 17 years. That is a long time and we have done so much in that time, spending almost 24 hours a day together, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Unbelievably, we very rarely argue. Sure, we annoy eachother at times and both have habits that niggle the other but, ultimately, we both know it’s not a big deal and we both know that we have eachother’s backs.
Relationships are weird. If you are both on the same page, wanting the same out of life, they are the easiest things in the world. There is no drama with me and Vikki, we just get on with it. We both have roles within the relationship where she exclusively deals with X and I exclusively deal with Y, and then there are areas that intersect. Some might think it is the “perfect” relationship, but define perfect?
Perfect is whatever you want it to be. For some, it may be hot threesomes every other week with the next door neighbour. For others it might be a drug-fuelled monged-out weekend in noisy clubs in big cities. Others will seek culture, others peace, others high adventure, others not much at all, really, just a “nice time”.
The problems occur if you both want different things. I’m talking about BIG different things. Like, he wants kids but she in no way wants to push a human out of her vagina. Or she wants to be festooned with diamonds and pearls but all he wants to do is save every penny for a rainy day. Square pegs in round holes.
Opposites attract? Yeah, they probably do. But no more than similarity does. We tend to be attracted to people who remind us of ourselves, such is the ego. Opposites can work, of course, but only if the differences are accepted from day one and there is no co-dependency going on. He/she is happy for he/she to do their own thing at any time. Of course, as life goes on, this situation becomes quite unworkable, which is when it might well go tits up.
The big secret to a successful, happy relationship is not to compare it to another. I am not an instinctively romantic guy. Case-in-point: the card I gave Vikki yesterday contained both the word “Hitler” and “cancer”. Not typically panty-wetting fayre. Some people reading this will be horrified by that, others will think it hilarious. I don’t really have an opinion on it and don’t think about it much, until I see my brother and his wife who go on wonderfully romantic outings together and, for a moment, I worry that I am doing it all wrong. But I’m not my brother and, in the same way he wouldn’t give his wife a card with the words Hitler and cancer in, I doubt I will ever get down on one knee and present Vikki with a big bunch of flowers. And I am sure, if I did, she would wonder who stole the real Zion and replaced him with this imposter.
I reckon the biggest thing that glues us together is that we are growing in the right direction. Whether that is because we are similar and like similar things, or whether we influence eachother, or whether it is just a random coincidence, I don’t really know. But it is handy. We’re on the same journey excited to see what is around the corner rather than wishing we were on separate buses.
The takeaway message from this, if you are in a relationship or looking for one, is just to ask yourself one, simple question: does this person make you happy? If they do; if they make you laugh and smile; if you would share your deepest, darkest secrets with them; if you want to grow old with them and face frailty together; if you would donate a kidney to them; if you would give them your last Rolo, you are probably alright. Don’t look for problems and you won’t find them. Always be honest with yourself and them. Look for sunshine when the clouds are dark and face the future together.
Here’s to the next 17 years.