Tag Archives: intimacy

Personal Update – I got married!

*Some time in the near past…*
Sooo, some new girl has moved into my flat, she’s cute and/but a little bit different.

“Oh God, PLEASE don’t let me like her!!”

*A couple months later…*
I’ve made a new friend. We even shook hands on it.

*A few months later…*
I seem to have a new best friend.
(Although she has asked me no less than 3 times to please not fall in love and mess the friendship up.)

*A couple months later…*
Umm, I kinda fell in love. Sorry!

*A few weeks later…*
Phew! She fell in love too. (Moved out of the flat and now we’re dating.)

*A few months later…*
She said yes!

*A few months later…*
We got married! It was kinda lovely.

*Nearly 8 months later…*
We still haven’t gotten back from our honeymoon. It’s kinda gross, all this love stuff. (In the BEST way possible!)

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Relational Gravitation and Wasabi

Relational GravityTake a moment to picture in your beautiful head, an archery target; you know, the kind with circles one inside of each another, like a cross section of Russian stacking dolls. Now forget the archery, and also the Russian dolls… unless they’re cute (Eeep!)

All I want you to think of is the concentric circles. …you know, like the ripples from a pebble dropped in a pond.
In the middle of the circles you should imagine a dot. This dot is the center of your capacity for relational intimacy. Its a God shaped hole, only God can fill that center dot. Read that sentence one more time.

Relational Wasabi #1 – If you’re missing God from in that center position, everything and everyone else is sucked in towards the middle of your relational intimacy. This creates all kinds of wack and stuff.

Relational Gravitaion - 1345449_12595961

Why wasabi? – Think of the way it punches you on the inside-front of your head when you get a good mouthful of it. Sometimes we need that sort of wake-up in our relationships with others eh.

Ok, now move your attention outwards to the next circle, the one that encircles the God dot. This circle is only big enough to hold one person at a time, and is designed to cuddle your Significant Other. Naawww, thats cute. Ok, moving on.

Relational Wasabi #2 – If you’re missing a Significant Other, sort of person from that position…here it comes… then what happens is that close friends, (obviously of the opposite gender), are gravitationally pulled towards that position of relational intimacy. And here’s the hook: Even if you instinctively know that its not meant to be.

Moving onwards and outwards, we have the next level of circle, ring, ripple thing. This one’s capable of holding between 3-5 peeps. These are your peeps; You know who I mean, YOUR peeps.

Relational Wasabi #3 – If you have less peeps in this circle than you’re capable of holding… (Like, you can handle 5, but you currently only have 2 in your life) Than friends from the circles further outwards, get inadvertently dragged inwards. (Not always a bad thing.)

This process continues on outwards another few layers, each bigger circle able to contain more individuals at that particular level of relational intimacy. Apparently average humans are only capable of maintaining current and active relational friendships with up to 100 people at a time. You may obviously “know” more people than that, but you quite likely won’t have the emotional space to be engaged with more than that.

Relational Wasabi #4 (Last one, I promise, but its a doozy) – If you have more people in any circle than that circle is capable of containing… you feel stress, emotional overload, overwhelmed, disconnected, and emotionally drained.

And the worst part is, you are STEALING relational intimacy and connection from the other people in that level of circle of relationship. You’re hurting your friends. Stop that.

Get some self control, consider who your friends are, evaluate what relationships in your life you need to re-focus on. Stop treating people who love you and have the relational right to your intimacy, as if they don’t belong in that level. Stop that.

Like a take-home doggy-bag of goodies, here’s two take home points:

#1 Be aware of relational gravity pulling people into empty slots that they might not be capable or trustworthy enough to fill. (This one hurts us, aye)

#2 Don’t steal intimacy from deserving peeps, and dish it out to mere acquaintances who don’t actually care for it or value it. (This one also hurts us, huh)

You have been listening to the voice of slightly pained experience, combined with common-sense reason. (Mostly experience. Ouch).

Chur

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Friendship Growth Cycle

Invisible boundaries; Are there such things? Not the awkward social kind that some people like to poop on, but the invisible limitations on the strength or length of a friendship.

What do you do when you think you have hit one of these limits? Press on? Pull back? What creates the limit? Are they permanent, and based on universal incompatibilities between two people?

A friendship is a relationship of enjoyment and trust between two people, right? Of course right.

If you have a friendship based only in enjoyment of the other persons company/personality, but you don’t share any trust between you, then no kind of intimacy can ever grow. Without any kind of trust and intimacy, the friendship is only going to ever be shallow and on the surface level. You have now reached the current limit of your friendship.

FriendshipCrap - Graph01On this graph I happened to have lying around, you can see the same thing goes for if you have a friendship based solely on trust. You might trust this person completely, but if you don’t actually enjoy being around them, then the friendship is boring.

So here is my dilemma, what if you have a friendship that has a great level of enjoyment which is continuing to grow, however the growth towards trust has stalled.

Maybe a new level of trust was extended, but someone breached that somehow. You pull back for a minute, maybe you’re a little hurt.

FriendshipCrap - Graph02You re-evaluate your friendship… is the level of enjoyment worth pursuing the trust again? How much trust are you willing to put forward?

Are some friendships supposed to not grow beyond a certain level? Who sets the level? Is it subconsciously mutual?

Surely the more trust you share with someone, the more you get to know them, and then the more you enjoy about them? So a friendship should be self perpetuating, it should continue to grow of its own accord, shouldn’t it?

Yes and no. The friendship scale isn’t one dimensional; there are at least 5 graphs that could be charted based only on trust as an example:

  1. Actual Outgoing – (The level of trust I extend towards you.)
  2. Perceived Outgoing – (The level of trust you think I extend towards you.)
  3. Actual Incoming – (The level of trust you actually extend towards me.)
  4. Perceived Incoming – (The level of trust I think you extend towards me.)
  5. The overall level of trust in the relationship. (The other 4 combined and overlayed)

The same goes for the enjoyment, there’s the actual enjoyment for each person, and the perceived enjoyment for each person. I may think that you enjoy my company more then you actually do.

I might be afraid of that. This insecurity will lower my enjoyment of your company, no matter if its true or not. So you see the perceived level of trust and enjoyment plays a big role in the overall friendship.

– – – – – – – –

So although the start of a friendship will grow under its own power, its when it hits some sort of limitation that you have to choose if you will let it stagnate there.

If you’ve reached your current max level of enjoyment of someone, in order to grow the relationship further, you have to choose to purposefully look for things that you enjoy about who the person is, and what they are like.

On a low level of intimacy, maybe its something as shallow as liking their accent.

If your friendship is closer it might be something more personal like the way they tilt their head ever so slightly when they’re confused. Or the sparkle in their eyes when they think of something funny.

If your friendship is lacking trust, what can you do to make yourself more trustworthy? How can you forgive them and safely extend your trust towards them without being naive? Being vulnerable with your heart is a risk, and takes trust… how much of your heart are you willing to risk hurting?

Maybe they are not trust-worthy at that level yet.

That is all.

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