My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met. (R.Dangerfield)
The panorama about the modern couple is diverse, varied and sometimes also desolate. As an Italian writer, Salvatore Brizzi, states in his books, the concept of couple is now lingering in transitional doorway where the old models are collapsing and yet we aren't ready for the new ones. If we take a look around us, we can easily see apparently indestructible relationships falling apart, while a huge proliferation of hybrid relational bonds like ‘friends with benefits’ are more and more taking place. Most of the times, these neither fish nor fowl relationships conceal our fear of commitment or an extreme slavery to our testicles and ovaries.
The old model of couple, anyway, still works for people who have the needs and the mental setting of our parents and grandparents. Consequently, the partner is chosen because of his/her physical appearance, financial comfort or intellectual virtues. Once it is formed, that kind of couple usually isolate itself from the world . Alternatively, they may go out only with coupled friends, since every external element can potentially turn into a threat to such relationship. Another possibility is that the partner ‘up’ decides the couple ‘contractual’ conditions and what one is allowed or forbidden to do.
This old-minded couple is based on the compelling need of a partner, it develops on illusions and it often ends up to be a total bore. It might live on power games and subtle manipulations where both partners collude at some level, even if they keep on complaining “She’s too jealous” “He’s aggressive” “She/he doesn’t leave me enough freedom” “She/he constantly leaves me alone” and so on. Their dark sides are perfectly at ease in such situations and they can take nourishment from all kinds of the couple interpersonal dynamics: sexual energy, ego self-gratification, needs of attention, control and approval.
Ph. Chiara Benelli
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