Today I was driving home and stopped by the gas station right outside of my neighborhood. After pumping the gas I got back inside the car and decided that since my house is close by I’m going to drive without my seatbelt on.
Something weird happened.
For the first time I felt like the speed I should drive was restricted, I was overthinking every little movement, I was paranoid about every car around me — I didn't feel free to do whatever I wanted on the road. It felt counterintuitive. Shouldn’t I feel freer without my seatbelt on? Contrary to my previous belief, it was the safety of the seat belt that freed me mentally. It’s that security that allowed me to be comfortable driving faster while subconsciously navigating the road.
I always felt like being free in a relationship was living without restrictions. I saw it as two people having the ability to do whatever they want while being both accepted and accepting. I’ve always felt secure in relationships giving and receiving a love where I can literally do anything and still be loved. But I was missing the other side of the equation. For many people, security is a combination of preset boundaries, obligations, and expectations. And in this case, “seatbelts” are to “cars” as “security” is to “relationships”.
I’ve always felt like this type of security restricted freedom if there were too many rules, but it turns out that there are people out there that need a high level of security to feel free. To them, freedom in a relationship is a mental state where they can completely let go and go with the flow when they simply feel safe to do so.
It’s the tale of two freedoms where both definitions clash, but understanding is the first step to figuring out if clashing is the only solution or if meshing them together is a possibility.