Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Measure of Investment

     I think it is important, when defining yourself and your place in a relationship, to figure out the correct measure of investment.  I, as a person, am amazingly scared of losing myself in the "us."  When I look around at the other couples, it seems there are three kinds of relationships that have to do with this "measure of investment":

  1. Inaction through Fear - I think that there are many that feel that entering a relationship will end with a total eclipse of their own personality - a loss of self into the other.  These are the individuals that either enter no relationship with others or constantly push others away in order to deter such a possibility from occurring.  I think that everyone has a friend who enters many relationships only to spurn the other and complain about intimacy.  These are the people who, in an attempt to gain nothing from other, invest nothing themselves.  Perhaps the relationship is just as unwanted from the "other's" side due to this level of inaction and fear of amoebic possession.
  2. Total Takeover - The other end of the spectrum finds another who is so into the relationship that he is willing to either totally give up his identity to the other or have himself integrated into more of a collective (a la Borg).  There is a certain sense of safety that comes with any collective (political party, religion, etc.), but this type of investment leaves nothing in its wake.  Whereas the individual was once a distinct spirit, his status changes to one who requires permission for the simplest thing.  Could it be that these individuals have so little separate personality to begin with, that to sacrifice it was an easy and relatively unmolesting process?
  3. Healthy Investment - Luckily, there are those who can find a happy medium between these two extremes.  These people find time to be themselves, but have the ability to relate to another in a semi-collective way.  But how is such a thing possible?  Surely it is easier to operate at an extreme, adhering to a simple black/white set of rules, rather than juggling distinct responsibilities of both camps without gaining fear of integration or need for over-investment.  One of these individuals how to make constant overt and covert decisions at every single turn in order to keep their identity intact as individual/related.


     This Venn diagram shows my current thoughts on a healthy relationship.  The people in this relationship are heterosexual only because it is what I have personally experienced.  This shows the people as having issues that they deal with.  A nod to existential psychotherapy is here because I believe that we all do die a lone and must deal with the majority of our issues alone, as well.  That being said, some are very much a responsibility of both people and should thus be decided together.  But, as said, the majority of issues are singular as can be seen by the amount of space outside of the "united issues" field.  While it may seem rather callous that I mentioned that most decisions should be made by the individual, that does not mean that the other should not be concerned with personally-made decisions.  A net of "care" is around each person.  This, however, does NOT mean that outrageous inquiries shoudl be made into personal decisions.  Trust is key here.  

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