Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cake and Eat it Too?

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and the subject of dating and relationships came up. It inevitably does when he and I get together, not in a "We should date" kind of way, but in a philosophical, sociological debate way. We are both people watchers. The only problem is, he has PowerPoint presentations, with sound bytes, video clips, and acronyms, and I have only my wit and a little charm, which never seems to work on him. Drat.
We were discussing the question of who is better to be with, the person who you are completely comfortable being yourself around, or the one who makes you the best version of yourself.
When I say completely comfortable, I mean with all of your faults. They know about the package of gum you stole when you were seven, the fact that you really can't stand that girl in your ward because she is totally insincere and it bothers you, or more serious things. Problematically, however, this could lead to laziness because it's too comfortable and easy. They accept you for who you are now, and therefore why change? In fact, what happens if you do change and they don't like that? Then you're just screwed.
Conversely, you get the amazing person who makes you feel not good enough. They volunteer at the homeless shelter, work at the temple, and you feel like all of your commitments aren't good enough anymore, so you have to learn new things and take up new hobbies and be all that you can to prove to this person that you are just as amazing as they are. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an extreme example, but the idea is valid. You date someone, or even just like someone and want to date them, so to bring yourself "up to their level" you do, that's not what I am trying to say. That is being fake. There is a difference between just trying to show them that you have all the same interests and being in a caring relationship and wanting to be a better person so that you can better deserve and serve someone out of genuine love. And genuinely good people can see the difference, because of the light in your eyes.
Ah! You are all saying, I want to find the one who makes me want to be a better person, who helps me bring out the light in my eyes, even though it's easier to be lazy and comfortable. No one ever says they want to take the easy path. The harder path reaps more benefits, so everyone jumps at that. My friend thinks that you have to pick one or the other. But I brought up that it is entirely possible to have both of those. This should not be rocket science. The whole idea is one of growing, correct? No one is ever completely and totally comfortable with someone the first time they meet them, no matter how much they gush about how they just connected and felt like they had known each other forever...let's face it, the first time you meet, if you burp or make some other bodily noise, you are going to be uncomfortable. And as far as making you a better person, that is a continual process, forever! And the idea is that it should be mutual, so these two things should go hand in hand.
When it all comes down to it, it's really about the choice that you make every day. Are you going to be comfortable today? Or are you going to be the best person? And actually, that choice is something that is regardless of any other person out there, dating, friend, teacher. That's entirely up to you. We hold such amazing power in our lives.