We were in class. My primary school crush had just passed me a little folded piece of paper quickly, before the teacher saw us. He had big brown eyes, wavy black hair and red lips. I was ten years old and I was feeling butterflies in my stomach whenever I saw him.
1. Teenage love, who can forget it?
We spoke only briefly before and rumour had it, there was another girl from our class that claimed his attention. It must have trickled down the grapevine that I fancied him, because his note said, “It’s not her I love, you.” As nervous as I was, I read “It’s her I love not, you.” Or maybe that’s what he wrote in a haste, I can’t recall, it was a very long time ago. I remember getting all fuzzy inside. He knows and he loves me back. Then doubt crept in. Does he like the other girl and I was just too quick to assume he fancies me? I quickly scribbled on the note and passed it back.”Do you love her?”, “No, I love you.” came the answer. Love was a very serious thing when I was ten. However it wasn’t meant to be. Still, I’ll never forget the butterflies, the joy and the scare his message gave me. And the fact that I dared ask. How many times in life we think we understand something, or we’re not sure and we don’t ask, thus giving way to further misunderstandings that can drive a wedge between us and our partner.
[Tweet “How often in life do we think we understand something, or we’re not sure and we don’t ask #relationships”]2. The older, the wiser
We’re guilty of this especially in our twenties. It’s the age of discovery, of insecurities, of shying away from seeking the truth, of emerging jealousies and storm in a teacup type of dramas. Yes, I remember my twenties all too well. I left behind a broken relationship and never really knew why it went the way it did. Years later, I asked. The answer was, “I never really understood you.” I was shocked and could say, enlightened. More often than not we just say things that come to mind. They’re the result of some intricate thinking the other side can’t see, hear or understand. The why is obvious to us, but not to them.
3. We live for drama, but is it worth it?
Misunderstandings are at the heart of every drama, soap opera or romantic novel. And they can destroy relationships. A few words said in a haste, a rumour that started from nothing, a hunch that is founded on misconception can hurt more than we think. Shakespeare’s Othello killed Desdemona over a misunderstanding. Gone With the Wind’s Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler understood each other and were suited for each other, yet she mistakenly thought that she loved another, till it was too late. Sometimes just talking isn’t enough for effective communicating. A famous reply I got from another ex as I fumed because he didn’t get the message was, “You told me but you didn’t communicate it to me.” What does that mean? Some things are more important than others. Sometimes men zoom out when we talk and all they hear is white noise. They themselves rely much more on body language when communicating. We should all learn to speak the other one’s language.
4. High expectations
Parents expect their children to read their minds. Children expect parent to read their mind. Partners often take each other for granted and expect that ultimate understanding. It doesn’t happen. The only way is effective communication. That’s why we are in awe when we meet someone who gets us. Finally we don’t have to explain most things over and again. The world becomes a better place. The sky becomes more blue. There is nothing quite like being understood. Are you?
Share with us, how do misunderstandings affect your life and relationships?