Relationships seem difficult because everybody is trying to navigate the territory using maps that do not reflect the territory and are full of mapping errors.
You know happens when you do that? You get lost and crash into things. Crashing into things is painful. In relationships the pain is mostly emotional and not physical suffering but arguments that descend into violence are not exactly rare either.
Sometimes you crash really, really badly and the relationship crashes and burns totally.
Normally when somebody has a map in their head about a skill that can be done solo (like how to make a good lasagna for example) and the map is so bad then the map gets corrected because the continued stream of failed attempts at using the map will lead them to the conclusion that they don’t have a very good map after all and they need more practice or perhaps better raw ingredients or a better lasagna recipe and so the map gets corrected.
This is where the final cruel trick get played which is this. It takes two to have a relationship. Both are trying to navigate the territory together.
When the relationship crashes and burns and both parties are walking away from the smouldering wreckage, you know what they do?
They don’t blame the maps. They blame each other.
They curse that “all men are bastards” and “all women are bitches” and lament that they must be “so unlucky in love” and “why can’t they find the right person” and conclude that their last partner must not have been “the one”.
Then you know what they do? This is the part where is gets really crazy !
They stick their map back into their pockets !!!
Instead of ripping up their map, burning whats left of it and stamping on the smouldering embers, they tell themselves that their map is perfectly fine and tell themselves “Well I can read and navigate with my map perfectly well. Why can’t I find a partner who knows how to do the same !!”
Then what do they do?
Well firstly, past failures are backwards rationalised with favourite phrases like “You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince” and … well men don’t really have an equivalent backwards rationalisation about princesses so they have to stick with the tried and tested “She was a bitch.”
Then what do they do?
Following a sufficient period of emotional recovery, people then embark on a brand new journey with a brand new partner and the exact same map safely tucked into their pocket telling themselves that it must be different this time because they are in the car starting out on a completely new journey with a completely different person in the front seat with them.
Maybe this person is “the one”.