Thursday, January 29, 2015
H01 Group 1 Peripatetic Discussion
In our walk around the BAS and LRC, our group discussed the practical difficulties that arise in relationships when disagreements inevitably happen. We started by talking about the "laundry list" of requirements for a perfect other half, mentioned in the larger group discussion, and we said either that there was no such thing for us, or that it was less a pre-decided list that we kept and more a code of standards that, if not upheld in a relationship, caused friction. We differentiated between this sort of disparity of expectations and a difference in belief. For example: one participant said he and his girlfriend held vastly different political and religious beliefs, but they both believed that they were entitled to their own opinions, so the relationship worked. We then discussed situations that could complicate a relationship: What if two people love each other, but their career and life goals would lead them in very different directions? What if one prioritizes the relationship more than the other? What if one wants a family and the other doesn't? The answers to these questions, we eventually concluded, are somewhat situation-specific. In general, we said to the first that the two must decide which is more important to them--their relationship or their career goals, bearing in mind that too much one-sided sacrifice (one person giving up all his/her career pursuits to follow the other person) could lead to resentment and automatically deprioritizes one person in the relationship. To the second and third, we said that if a person is in a relationship, and especially if that relationship leads to a family, the partner and family are the number one priority. If a person is the type to put work first in most situations, he or she needs to look for human connection in good friends. If there is a disagreement about whether to have kids, the couple should weigh the one's desire for a family against the other's desire to not have kids and decide if they can work it out.