One of my favorite scenes from my all-time favorite movie, White Christmas, is when Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby argue in their dressing room about how Danny’s character, Phil, is repeatedly trying to set up Bing’s character, Bob, with women. Phil tells Bob that now is the time to pursue a relationship because “when what’s left of you gets around to what’s left to be gotten, what’s left to be gotten won’t be worth getting whatever it is you’ve got left.”
Phil says that he's motivated to set him up because he cares about Bob’s happiness. Bob suspects that it's not only for his happiness and asks what’s in it for Phil. Phil concedes and explains that since Bob is obsessed with work, Phil wants him to get married. Then he wants Bob to have 9 children and if he spends only 5 minutes a day with each kid, that would free up 45 minutes for Phil to at least have time to “go out and get a massage or something.”
Phil’s technique to buy himself some time isn’t a bad one since we are wired for relationships. We need connection. Yet, it’s really hard to put relationships over work. Relationships are difficult and require a considerable amount of vulnerability and care. But they are also the most challenging and rewarding thing we get to experience in life.
We were not made to operate like machines, producing and churning out all our lives. We need touch, we need care, we need to be known. We need a relationship where we don’t have to produce something to be cared for. A relationship where we can just be and be loved.
So please, don’t hold back from relationships. They are difficult, but the best way. If you’re holding back from pursuing relationships with people, be remind by Phil’s (amusing) words…
By the way, Bob responds to this with "when I figure out what that means I'll come up with a crushing reply."