Relationships – shelf life or for life?

The title certainly makes one think of something edible which has a stipulated period of life to it. But here we are labelling shelf life to something intangible in our lives. Sad but true!

A young eligible bachelor was once asked the reason for remaining single. He was accused of being commitment phobic. His retort was something which raised quite a few eyebrows. He said how could he be sure of loving the same woman he did now, after a decade or may be more?  Time cannot control anything; people grow and change and so do their likes, feelings and emotions. While this may not go down too well with many people, the young gentleman’s honest response does make one reflect on how relationships can stand the test of time.

Can we restrict the above illustration to only one kind of relationship? What about blood relations? What about platonic friendships developed and nurtured over the long haul? Are they likely to have a shelf life too? Maybe, maybe not. One certainly cannot count one’s relationship with one’s parents or siblings as something temporary. People believing in ‘no permanent friends and no permanent enemies’ may partially agree with the transitory nature of friendships. Sounds synonymous to a time barred business contract – practicality, rationality and reality (minus the emotions) at their optimum best!! No guarantees here.

The irony of an intimate relationship is that it may be subject to an expiration date and unfortunately endorsed by many. The same relationship for which all other associations take a back seat regrettably expires. Ubiquitously this isn’t always the reality – neither with the older generations nor with the new. We come across so many people in our day to day lives who have been together for ages. Couples, including most of our international film and sport celebrities have long courtships, move in with their partners for years before committing themselves into a marriage. Why do such people continue their relationships? Don’t they get bored, seek variety or greener pastures? Well, no! They want it to work.

On the other hand, why do relationships become redundant with some people? Has it got to do with more choices available, dipping tolerance levels or humdrum and monotony which set in with time?

Everyone who believes in the philosophy of shelf life, must understand that every new formed relationship is going to be transient too. How long can one keep making new associations? Why not realize it’s going to be the same each time? Please learn from your experiences and realize relationship is not a thing which has a shelf life or an expiry date. (We are not talking about exceptions, where having a shelf life may actually prove beneficial under certain circumstances); otherwise, it’s too beautiful a part of our lives to be considered short-lived. It can remain intact with just a little bit of love, care and understanding. Please shelve your idea of a ‘relationship shelf life’…