Why is it so complicated?

"Thomson-PP14" by Hugh Thomson (1860-1920) - Lilly Library, Indiana University. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thomson-PP14.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Thomson-PP14.jpg

Human relations are probably the most complicated entity on the planet. 

Why is that?  Most likely because humans are the most sophisticated, intelligent beings on the planet, while at the same time can be the most stupid and foolish of all of God’s creatures.

A few weeks ago, I happened across the last few scenes of the 2005 movie version of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice.  The scene opens in an early 19th Century English village.  The Bennet sisters sit together in the parlor knitting and chatting with their desperate mother.  Soon two gentlemen pay a visit, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darby, who had previously courted two of the Bennet sisters, Elizabeth and Jane.

The instant the men arrive, the parlor is a flutter with activity.  Everything is quickly set proper.  Elizabeth and Jane are the eldest daughters, and are of the age to marry.  Both the ladies are in love with the respective visiting gentlemen, but social norms constrain young ladies from stating such things.  All they can do is flirt and coyly suggest. 

The gentlemen reciprocate love to the ladies, but are unable to muster up the courage to declare their intentions.  The scene is meant to be somewhat humorous as the lovers hem and hum and never can state their feelings directly.

I was struck with a large dose of sadness watching this play out.

Why is it that people make human relations so complicated?  Why is courting such a challenge in our modern society?  Or is that the problem, modern society?

The portrayed young adults obviously loved each other. 

Why could they not be more direct to declare their hearts?

Although social norms have changed significantly in the past two centuries, I still observe a similar over-complication in relationships – both romantic and platonic.

Yes, some have likened romance to a graceful Kabuki.  I understand the comparison.  Savoring the beauty and art of life is valuable.  However, I think during the dance, we should also be more direct, more forthright, and trusting.

In any relationship:

Make sure your intentions and expectations are clearly communicated.

Speak your mind.  Don’t repress your concerns or feelings.

Be gentle and kind in your words.  Maybe the other party isn’t quite prepared to hear the unadulterated truth.

Be clear and straight-forward.

Why complicate the development of a relationship by being too coy or elusive? 

Granted, in our society, dating norms are a hodge-podge.  The modern contribution to the process is internet dating, which comes with risks.  Caution and due-diligence should be observed.

However, I believe that most people are authentic.  Most people can (or should) handle the truth.

Be direct and try to make your relationships or potential relationships less complicated.   By making space in your relationships, you can focus on that which is important and avoid the noise.

What do you think?  Are there any ways that you could be more open and direct in communicating in all your relationships?

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Image compliments of: “Thomson-PP14″ by Hugh Thomson (1860-1920) – Lilly Library, Indiana University. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thomson-PP14.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Thomson-PP14.jpg

 

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