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Entries in relationships (2)


The Urgency of Paradise

Today, I was fortunate enough to sit down with a one-on-one discussion session with President Emeritus of the Australian General Semantics Society, Mr. Laurie Cox. Despite his advanced age (92!) he insists his psycho-social age is merely 40, having "surpassed all the traps of adolescent thinking" with over 57 years of General Semantics training and teaching.

As we sipped coffee and talked, he asked me how I was going professionally and personally. Professionally things weren't great, but I was heading towards completing my thesis half way through the year and thus my master's degree. Personally, I didn't have much to report - though we hit upon sex, interpersonal communication and intimate relationships for a majority of the session. One of his salient points that resonated with me is this; "With all relationships, you mustn't forget the axis of time."

Of course, he referred to axis as that of a graph - that time is crucial in forming lasting, trusting and loving relationships. In our environment, we are sold many things that ought to "save time" otherwise "time is wasted." If it is, the "opportunity will be lost" at that "instant." We work "overtime" and consequently have no "time to spare." But in the realm of relationships, time is not of the essence, but "is" the essence.

"Rushing it" almost never feels as satisfying as "taking it slow" and some predatory "dating coaches" emphasize "speed seduction" and moreover "quick fucking" but not "spending time with someone significant" or "passionate lovemaking." Love and relating to others takes up our time in our thoughts and actions - it's not meant to be kept to a rigorous "timetable." One figuratively must "take the time to take the time." Even if it's "come time" to acquaint yourself with someone new, re-affirm an old friendship or even "find time" to work on oneself with hobbies, projects and other creative pursuits.

I for one viewed time as an enemy while growing up, something I felt I was constantly "short of" - but now I am beginning to view it as one of my most powerful allies.

Laurie in his own life-affirming way knows something about time - and emphasizes that we may have a lot or very little at all; but if the "timing is right" between two (or even more) people, time can invariably bind us all together, with love.


Wreck Ignition

In my daily self-reflection, I was thinking about some points raised with my therapist Geoff. We hit upon past relationships and how I felt about them now, after so much time had passed by. He suggested that if I still had residual feelings, I should write them down or initiate a conversation with the partner. I told him, in all honesty, I have little desire to do so. What is done cannot be undone - I doubt it would make any difference to my emotional well-being (especially when I have chronicled relevant parts in my blog on occasion).

Thinking back, I thought all of my partners were unequivocally "amazing" and beyond reproach - I would refrain to enforce boundaries with them even to my own detriment. As I rose from the bed today, I hit a salient point - the mistake I and others make is seeing their partners as "special" rather than unique.

This is not to say my current or former partners weren't interesting or pleasant or etc. - I loved them, I cared about them and strived to treat them with the respect and devotion that I expected within a romantic relationship. But keeping the irrational thought that their partners were somehow imbued with an almost sense of the divine - that they were so fantastical that another one like them surely does not exist anywhere else in this world - will only lead to heartache and counter-productive behaviors such as pining for the good old days when you and your partner were together and waiting for them to magically return to you.

Of course, affairs of the heart are seldom ruled by the head, but the aftermath certainly can be a rational, cognitive process. Its a case of differentiating from "a" girl (or boy) and "the" girl. We can evaluate them as a complex matrix of both good and bad attributes, viewholders, etc. and accept them all as part of what makes them unique - but not special (in the aforementioned sense), of course.

Swedish vocalist Krister Linder in his song "Mixed Blood" sings thusly:

"Don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed / but my melancholy is existential / no remedy or antidote / Don't bother with a cure or rescue"

Some people cannot grapple with the thoughts of the "givens" of existence - that life is chaotic and nothing has inherent meaning apart from the ones we ascribe to events and people. Even a married couple of many years must concede that their encounter was dependent on chance and at one point, they were oblivious to the existence of one another. If a relationship goes sour, one can take comfort in the fact that it was yet another FGE (fucking growth experience) and perhaps even learn from their mistakes.

During an acid trip, I once wrote down that the "universe was created so me and Elyse (my former partner) could meet that one time and carry on together into perpetuity" - while that cannot be proven or tested, it's an irrational belief that cannot be held up by any real fact. I am the only person I have to please - it was not my responsibility to solve her (or anyone's) problems or take care of her as if she were dependent on my benevolence and love. As human beings we all have the ability to choose and mold our own destinies; be it with work, hobbies, interests or even intimate partnerships.