I'm not a relationship expert, but I've had my fair share of relationships and each has taught me something not only about the complexity of human interaction but equally as important, what role I play in the deliciously unpredictable world of human intimacy.
Relationships are not easy and yet all too often I believe we try to distill them down to an algorithm that tries to capture the human condition in what is only a snapshot of the totality of what it means for two people to come together in the name of intimacy, vulnerability and potentially a lifetime of love, laughs and a mutual admiration society that is rivaled by few.
Can this be captured in a book, in an audiotape, in a video or even well intentioned infomercial? I'm certainly not here to judge, as judgment and blame are probably the two most destructive forces in any intimate relationship. Yet, I wonder in this very public forum out of a deep longing and desire to belong and to feel as if we have found someone who understands where we have been, where we are and where we are going do we lose sight of the fact that there are no easy answers and that relationships take hard work?
Thus far, I have broken no new ground nor have I endeavored to do so. It is simply my way of gently sliding into an area of relationships or more specifically a benchmark of sorts that while important and integral to the forward movement of the intimacy challenge is more than a slightly delicate topic. Why you ask? While multifaceted it boils down to what I believe to be two relationship truths. The first is the reality that sometimes the reality of relationship is neither slick, sexy nor even infomercial worthy. The second is that in any intimate relationship the one area both literally and metaphorically that seems to remain off-limits is anything having to do with the bathroom.
Pulse rates increase, blood pressure rises while the bottom simultaneously feels as if it has dropped out of the stomach of a collective of millions of boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives and all points in between at the very mention of the tangled web of relationship discussions regarding bathrooms and bodily functions.
Be forewarned, this is not a discussion about vanity space, leaving the toothpaste cap off or anything so benign. There are many forces in the universe that have the potential to both support and undermine the power of love with none being more misunderstood and possibly more avoided than the reality that at some point in time one will walk in on one's "other" squarely seated on the commode.
It is relationship-defining and it certainly takes more than a moment to process. We all know the basic mechanics of the human body as well as the simplicity of “what goes in must come out” and as such, we think we have fully embraced and made peace with the fact that even those we hold in the highest esteem must take care of both the first and second call of nature on a regular basis as there are just some calls you can't put on hold.
Perhaps it's time to see this is as a defining relationship moment as we choose to let down our walls and simply admit that like us, the ones we love do in fact sit, stand or in certain public bathrooms a combination of both in an effort to do what comes very naturally.
By this point in the discussion, it would be fair for you to wonder if this topic is even worthy of space on the page. It strikes me that we spend so much time saying our goal in any intimate relationship is remaining honest, transparent and vulnerable so perhaps it's time to collectively give ourselves permission to dig deep down to the depths of our being and our bowels and realize that in that moment when the one we love happens to unexpectedly be co-joined with us in a very primal act we have two choices. We can see it as a bowl half-empty or a bowl half-full which is probably a lesson that transcends the bathroom and speaks to most aspects of any relationship. They're going to be times when you simply need to stop, squat and do your business. So, if the unexpected occurs and you are suddenly not doing it alone but in the presence of the one you love. It's okay; you're okay and there is a simple solution… Next time remember to lock the door.