Lovers are those two providential meetings between two musicians who have a blast. I remember one of our local greatest artists, Gyuri Pascu, was once telling a story how once he had a jam with a female singer, and they sang so well, eye to eye contact, perfect pitch, unison chorus, that he realized that cheating on his wife was nothing compared to what he experienced without any kind of touch or even conversation involved.
You suddenly get in a serendipitous sync with someone, maybe you both play the same instruments, maybe you are the voice and they are the bass, or you are the cello and they are the piano, you get the idea. The tunes you sing now will stay with you for your entire life, even if you leave, even if you split badly, even if they make you feel like trash, because, be warned, love is not reciprocal by default, and some folks know all the strings and sing all the songs and we’re deluded to think they sing with us or for us.
Relationships are a jazz band. Now it is all improvisation, so a good jazz band. Late night jams with booze and smokes. That is where the perfect time for honesty arrives. Do you secretly want to try polyamory, talk about it. Do you want some specific sexual experiences, talk about it. Do you want a lifetime of travel and leisure? Do you want kids, take a pet as a couple. In the relationship stage we are open to these things, open to improvisation which is creating novelty as we go, because we feel safe in our still existing independence.
Sure, this doesn’t mean that after marriage you can’t or shouldn’t do these things or that you cannot marry and preserve your independence, but it is childish to not reckon the increased difficulty and slimming resources which the activity of planning a single life together will bring on board.
When you marry you are an orchestra. No more improv, you will assume the hard work of playing a score written by someone else, someone you’ve never met. You are both the orchestra and the conductor. The instruments are all the aspects of life that suddenly must keep the tempo, be in tune, miss no note and know exactly when to start and when to stop playing. All your hopes and dreams are the conductor.
The first thing you’ll notice is that some scores get you raving reviews, other scores get you tomatoes. Some conductors suck as people but they make the orchestra be out of this world good. Some conductors are mediocre and some are having good and bad seasons. But the force of the conductor in the marriage symphony is not external, it is in your both’s hopes and dreams.
That is why exploration inside marriage is so hard. Because you need a conductor (common hopes and dreams) who wants to work on new and experimental stuff. Sometimes you make a bric-a-brac of some special hopes and dreams and get a conductor that sees how most of the classic masterpieces have been done over and over by others, done exquisitely well sometimes, before you, and now the standards are so damn high that it accepts the experimental method.
Married with children is like being managed by the NASA control center. Once you have children you are guided by people you don’t see in a pitch black space where any mistake leads to a horror movie level implosion. Causality in space is very hard to manage because you depend on a plethora of information coming from the control center on Earth. The mission is the child or children and it happens very often, as you see the Earth spinning below you, that you realize you have no idea what you’re doing, and wonder with deep puzzlement why did you think this was a good idea in the first place. But you are the heroes of humanity after all, aren’t you?
Now, instead of an ending, a bit of algorithmic. Music is a lot about order. Read the following keeping in mind that man and woman, can also mean male and male, female and female, because gender is a social convention, which means man and woman is a metaphor for a couple. Here it goes:
When you are lovers you are first man and woman, and second humans. In a relationship you are first humans, and second man and woman. When you are married you are first humans, second lovers, third man and woman. When you are married with children, you are first parents, then human, then man and woman, then lovers.
We badly mix the order of these states. We also try to mess with their order because we feel like we want back to the original state: first man and woman, and second humans. But just as you will never feel as comfortable as in the womb of your mother, just as so you cannot go back to the primordial good and safe place we’re mesmerized by. There is nothing wrong with how things fall in their place as the adventure of a couple progresses, we’re just fighting them or not paying attention.
There are enough hours in one day to be anything, so want everything!