Understood

Last weekend, I went dancing with some friends. Yes I’m aware of how ridiculous that sentence is, but I love to dance, and don’t get to do it as often as I’d like. I’ve always been of the mind that as long as you’re out there giving it your all, it doesn’t matter how you look. After a few songs, we left the dance floor in favor of the bar area, which was a little less crowded, and we continued to get funky. During one of the quieter moments, a friend of mine came up to me and spoke to me about her new love interest, and something she said resonated strongly.

“I feel like he understands me, and it’s so nice to feel understood.”

After our conversation, the dancing continued, and I didn’t give it much thought until the next day, when the music wasn’t as loud, and there were less people around. Understood was the word that kept coming back to me. It’s so nice to feel understood.

Every single person is different in some way or another. We all have our own peculiarities, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. We have things we enjoy that we don’t tell others about; habits or interests that we keep to ourselves. The reasons people keep things from each other are manifold. Maybe it’s out of embarrassment, maybe it’s illegal, or maybe it’s a form of escape. Maybe it’s something that takes your mind off of everything and everyone else, and you don’t want others to be aware of it or share in it. Or maybe we’re just waiting for that one special person that we want to share that activity or interest with, and they just haven’t arrived yet.

The goal at the end of the day for most of us is to find that person that speaks your language. Not literally of course, but who understands our lingo, the way we speak, who knows what we’re really trying to say. I think we’re all looking for that, even though I’ve been reticent to admit it to others and myself. It’s hard to want to put yourself out there when people can be so awful to each other, but people fall in love everyday. Stranger things can and do happen.

So many people seek out relationships where they try to change the other person to meet their vision of the ideal person they want to date, or they attempt to “fix” the person, assuming that person is broken. To be sure, there are broken people out there. I’ve been one of them. There are people who have either not dealt with or who are still dwelling on something from the past, or who can’t let themselves be open to others emotionally. Those people definitely exist, but I’ve always rejected the idea of trying to “fix” someone. It’s kind of condescending, as if you and you alone know what’s best for them. To me, fixing or healing is a private activity, and should be done by the individual.

I’m not sure there’s anything more beautiful that happens between to human beings than when two people understand each other. It’s beautiful to understand someone for who they are, and hope they stay that way, rather than wanting or willing them to change into someone else. To be seen, to be heard, to feel like when you speak, the other person is looking right at you, and listening to what you’re saying, without being distracted by anything else going on around you. Even if they don’t love everything you love, they’re willing to participate in or take in whatever it is you’re passionate about. Anything can be interesting if someone can discuss it with passion and vigor, and they can make you understand and appreciate what you’re witnessing.

The most beautiful understanding takes place without speaking. When two people look at each other, and they are able to convey a thought almost telepathically, there’s something incredible about that. It’s a closeness you’re witnessing, a closeness that doesn’t happen everyday. This closeness isn’t confined to romantic relationships, either. I’ve seen friends that can look at each other, and both burst into laughter, and the look is all it took. When two people seem to get each other, there isn’t always that need to speak. So much of our communication takes place nonverbally, but there’s a certain level of closeness required for that communication to happen.

Nonverbal comm. can also take another form: when two people can sit next to each other and just enjoy each other’s presence. Many people feel a need to fill the space that can occur when two people don’t have anything immediate to say to one another. They’re uncomfortable with the idea of just sitting there and letting the seconds tick by in complete and utter silence. To me, that’s when I know a relationship is at its closest, when y’all can listen to music on a long car ride, and either enjoy the music, enjoy each other’s company, or maybe it’s a little bit of both. It’s definitely a little bit of both.

Maybe that’s why none of my relationships have worked out long term, why so many people’s relationships haven’t worked out long-term. Maybe we all need to readjust our search criteria. Maybe we shouldn’t be so concerned with appearance, but with finding someone who understands us. We’re looking for someone that sees all of our imperfections, our flaws, our problems, and they love us all the same. To be able to find that is such a rare thing in this world. To find your counterpart, and to know that you’ve found your counterpart, must be one of life’s greatest pleasures. I’ll let you know if it ever happens to me. I’m skeptical they exist even on my best days.

Find someone who understands you, who sees all that you are, who accepts you in your entirety. This post began based on the words of someone else, but I’ve noticed a lot of similarities in my close personal friendships. I don’t know why my friendships are so strong, and my relationships are a disaster, but that’s a post for another day. I’ll keep looking for that person that can read me like a book, and they keep turning the pages anyways.

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4 thoughts on “Understood

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