I’ve been thinking recently about the differences between plutonic relationships and romantic relationships. Somehow plutonic relationships seem to develop effortlessly, although trying at times, they’re largely enjoyable, otherwise we tend to terminate them! On the other hand, romantic relationships tend to be given more effort, more attention, and cause greater problems, more stress and heartache, and are generally more difficult.
Should we therefore treat romantic relationships as we do plutonic ones?
Generally speaking, we tend to take plutonic relationships as they come. There are no rules, only the very basic rules of human interaction. Trust is generally earned not granted, the relationship grows at its own pace, with little pressure to conform to a predetermined norm. While romantic relationships tend to explode with a great intensity which is rarely sustained. The burning passion lasts for a few weeks, months or even years, but sooner or later that passion mellows, the raging fire tames. All this amongst so many ground rules and pressures. Exclusivity, sex, togetherness, the joining of two people, timelines.
Somehow it seems that in a romantic relationship two people come together and follow their pre-determined image of what a relationship should be. The timeline is pre-destined. The first date, the second date, the first sexual experience, increasing regularity, living together, engagement, marriage and a family. I’m sure almost any western adult would draw the same timeline of the typical relationship. Why?
Is it the most effective form of relationship for this day and age? It’s very different in other parts of the worlds, the rules vary vastly, from Muslim harems to the arranged marriages of Sikhs. Why do westerners choose this method? Is it logical?
Even our own western rules vary hugely from only a hundred years ago. Promiscuity is significantly more socially acceptable and commonplace now than it was only 50 years ago. The sexual revolution of the 60’s fuelled that (or so my mother brags!)
Is it time for the next relationship revolution? Will romantic relationships become more like their more relaxed, easy going plutonic cousins? Is the future of romance less governed by rules, social norms and the need to conform? Will the romantic relationships of the future be more open, more flexible, more instananeous and more led by improvisation? Or will they be more restricted, more controlled by social norms and more standard?