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  • Relationships suffer from a fundamental tension between the desire to be honest and the fear of being abandoned.


  • We go into relationships in order to beourselvesbut were we to really be entirely ourselves, there is a high risk we would be left.


  • Silence seems the price we so often have to pay for companionship.


  • However much we may claim to be open minded, very few of us genuinely make room for another person's complexity in so far as we are its targets.


  • We say they cantell us anythingbut in practice, the topics any of us are really prepared to listen to is small, and lovers unconsciously mutually know it.


  • Tell me who you really are - just leave out most of the details.


  • How quickly most relationships would end if one were to say,


  • "I love you but sometimes I’d like to have an affair," or,


  • "Sometimes I catch you from a certain angle and I despise you," or,


  • "Sometimes for a while, I wish you weren’t in my life," or,


  • "Sometimes you bore me," or,


  • "Your flaws have been driving me to despair."


  • And yet, while saying something like this puts a relationship at risk, saying nothing is not unproblematic, either.


  • We can’t go through love being simplypolite.’

    我們不能在愛情中只是 「彬彬有禮」。

  • Our entire emotional system goes numb when we have to keep a lid on a gigantic lie.


  • Emotions that haven’t been expressed tend to end up simply being acted out.


  • It seems we can’t easily either say nothing or something.


  • It would help hugely if society were to give us a better picture of love that prepared us at a collective levelway before this or that lover was in questionfor the legitimacy of ambivalent feelings,


  • including anger, disappointment, and disloyalty.


  • And reassured us that we didn’t need to panic at such feelingsoccasional emergence, that they were likely to pass and were generally just a sign of two people getting very close.


  • The greatest favour we can pay our lovers is to allow them (so long as there is never contempt or violence in the mix) to hate us a lot sometimes.


  • The people who are the experts at this are parents of three-year-olds.


  • When a small child says, "Mummy, or Daddy, I hate you a lot today," parents do what we should all generally do: they manage not to take it personally.


  • They understand instinctively that love is very complicated;


  • they don’t hold honesty against a person whom they know is fundamentally good and kind.


  • They know the mood will alter, and most importantly, they remember how often they have felt exactly the same.


Relationships suffer from a fundamental tension between the desire to be honest and the fear of being abandoned.


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