Monday, November 29, 2010

We can think "closeness," but do we do it the same way?

My friends Nick and Jennifer gradually realized how the things they want from each other are different than each expected. But that was not obvious to them as they met and began their dating experiences. They thought they were "on the same relationship page" since they both reported how good being together made them feel. It wasn't until after they were both disappointed and hurt that they could acknowledge this discovery.

Interpersonal closeness is an interesting concept. It comes in a variety of forms--emotional, spiritual, and physical, and it may have other dimensions as well. Emotional closeness and spiritual closeness are distinguished from each other by some important nuances. Physical closeness speaks for itself to some degree, but may not be easily separated from emotional or spiritual closeness given its influence on both.

For the sake of illustration, the relationship between these three might be thought of as the lobes of a clover leaf. Each is distinct and separate but joined at a common point of intersection. Thinking of them this way prompts us to ask questions like, "Can people be spiritually-emotionally close but not physically close; can we be emotionally-physically close but not spiritually close; can we be closer emotionally than we are spiritually; or what is the relationship between physical closeness and emotional or physical closeness?"

Interpersonal closeness has some strong perceptual dimensions to it. That is to day that a person's perception of his or her closeness to another person is his or hers alone--it may not necessarily be shared at all or to the same degree by the other person! Also, two people may think they are "close," but in fact they may not share an enduring quality of closeness. That's complicated because if they are romantically involved with each other based on that perception of their closeness, they will probably have some sever future surprises. Painful stuff for sure.

Smarter Romance is dedicated to helping you discover these things BEFORE you find yourself making decisions that will have painful consequences. In addition to the dynamics inherent in the SR-styled relationship building process, you will find some simple and helpful tools at the Smarter Romance Tools blog site. Some are free. Others, considering what they will offer you with my supportive help, are available for a small fee. Check em out. (Christmas discounts!)

So, until next time be safe, have fun, and be smart!

No comments:

Post a Comment