Thursday, July 31, 2014


I remembered somebody giving a talk mention in passing that the term "monthsary" indicated a growing crisis in commitment and relationships. This was what came into my mind as I watched a video of a couple who were very much in love. The combox was rife with people saying how envious they were, or about how their relationships never went too long enough for them to graduate from the "monthsary" level into a real anniversary.

When I was a child and when I entered into young adulthood, I don't remember hearing the term "monthsary". Coming to think about it, I realize that indeed its usage is relatively recent (unless somebody could prove me wrong). 

There are many factors as to why relationships don't last as they should, or as we would want them to. Human interpersonal relationships can be really complex, a mystery in its own right. It's paradoxical to realize that a human, personal relationship---a complex, intricate reality as i have just mentioned--is founded on something as simple as the need to love and be loved, inherent in every person. As I was looking at the couple doing sweet and cute things to each other, I began to realize that it was all that was ever being shown to the world: the hugs and the kisses, the teddy bears and the dolce far niente (sweet-doing-nothing). To love and be loved is really sweet, and it's a delight to drown in that sweetness, until reality sinks in.

Here's what I think. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves what we are looking for in a relationship. Security? Self-discovery? Affirmation from the other? All of these are good things. But when a relationship is all about finding ME, discovering MYSELF, MY own happiness, before long, the steady stream of monthsaries would be progressively marked by the deterioration of our relationships, which may be then built on cream-puff sweetness.

The glory of any loving relationship is not in the sweetness, but in the effort of discovering the other. And this in itself is not easy. It is a journey, one that is mostly arduous. A Chinese proverb says that the hardest journey is the journey inward, and this is true whether in our case, or in the case of others. A relationship is an invitation for us to enter into world of the other person whom we esteem. Thus, it could never be said to be selfish, since it's not merely about ME, it's rather about the one I love. With this in mind, there is much sense in calling my partner in life as my "better half". 

For me to call my beloved my better half would entail a lot generosity and sacrifice on my part. It's a constant struggle to give first, since generosity becomes the condition for me to receive. This is true not merely in romantic relationships, but in any human relationship, even in our relationship with God.

Why are there more and more monthsaries? Maybe perhaps because we are forgetting that a relationship is not merely about ME...but about US...

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