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Sharing is (s)caring?

Published Jul 6, 2014, 3:11 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 9:08 pm IST
Sharing in a relationship is tougher than most people think
Keira Knightley and Adam Levine in a still from Begin Again. Representational picture.
 Keira Knightley and Adam Levine in a still from Begin Again. Representational picture.
Mumbai: Sharing in a relationship is tougher than most people think, particularly for people who have enjoyed flying solo for a long time prior to the romance. There’s more to it than picking food off your partner’s plate.
It’s not a sign of being close
It has been ingrained in our psyche that apparently love blossoms when we share. So we enter a relationship with a faux sense of entitlement over our partner’s belongings because that’s what we expect of being a couple. However, we completely disregard the fact that the concept of sharing has everything to do with one’s space. While we do not contest that one must share emotional information in a relationship — history of exes, any STDs etc. — do not presume that your partner likes to share his pillow, or even split his French Fries with you. It may seem like a minor thing to you but for all you know, it’s playing out as a major case of invasion of privacy in your partner’s head. Respect that even sharing has rules is a better sign of closeness.
Don’t demand, sharing happens slowly
You probably cannot fathom why someone whom you’re so close to still frowns at you taking a gulp of their beer. It doesn’t help that you’re willing to share your password details and your partner is doing little to reveal his/her own. Sharing is a gradual process. By demanding that everything from food to finance be shared is being unfair on your partner. Different people have a different pace about unravelling themselves but they also have different notions of what they want to share and what they think are off limits. Would you share a book from your library with a boyfriend who is sloppy and reckless? You just may, but not without a list of instructions. 
Back off but don’t give up 
Just because your partner doesn’t share his belongings with you now, doesn’t mean he never will. People tend to share things that they’re close to only after ascertaining that the person will value it just as much as they would. Unless you give the surety about being careful with one’s belongings, you cannot  win their trust. While the same logic might seem preposterous when applied to a plate of French Fries, but unless it’s decided while placing the order that the food will be shared, don’t take it for granted. There’s nothing worse than a person who says he won’t each much, but ends up polishing it off.
People can be possessive
Learn to see it from his/her perspective. For you his collection of graphic novels is just a shelf of comic books, but for him it is a collection of rare works of noted artists. You may wonder why she isn’t sharing her best stationery with you, but it’s not got to do with you in the first place. It’s just something she might not like doing. It neither makes you an untrustworthy person, not does it make him/her  selfish and materialistic. Don’t give this an unnecessary emotional spin. It’s nothing more than a personality type and is not indicative of any trouble.
Access to inboxes is not a given
Some couples may share the passwords of all their email IDs and social networking sites. Some might even liberally post on behalf of their partner from their accounts. That is not a benchmark for closeness. Some people feel coerced into sharing their passwords just because it has been asked of them, or worse, their partner is willing to share such data. If you’re not comfortable with sharing such info, particularly if your spouse has no such issues, make sure you get your point across clearly. Also be careful not to make it seem like you’re up to something clandestine and it’s simply a principle issue. There’s a high chance you can end up offending your partner and the focus will shift away from the fundamental issue of sharing.