28/10/2007

On quality relationships, part 1

Many thanks to my friend Nathan whose Final nail article inspired this one.

I totally identify with Nathan's article, because it really upsets me when people try to do too much on a first date. I have had similar experiences (which I won't go into specifics about, both out of respect for those involved, and to protect my privacy and theirs), and I, too, chose to back off.

I chose to back off because I feel that when someone tries to be physical with me before knowing me personally and emotionally, before we establish a meaningful relationship, I worry about the possibility that emotional compatibility is less important to them than physical compatibility. This is doubly so because I'm an introvert (so I actively hide my real self), and thus it takes a lot of effort to know who I am, something that many people I know have difficulty fully understanding. I am a very different person in my own space, much harder to get along with than the social personae (yes, plural) that people usually know me by.

Now, I'm not saying that physical compatibility is not important: sex and physical affection are vital components of a good relationship, but I feel that it cannot be built primarily upon physical aspects. Honest, open communication, which I think too many couples have trouble dealing with, is much more critical (pun intended), for without it, a long-lasting relationship is almost impossible. We each are all too different to begin with; without a solid way to bridge these gaps, what hope have we got?

That's not to say that I'm perfect at communicating. Far, far from it; I still have difficulty dealing with blunt truth, and I dare say I still verbally tiptoe around my spouse too much for my liking. But I do commit to putting in the hard work needed to improve on it, and it is the top priority in my marriage.

Imagine, if you were to share your body, your intimate space, and your heart, with somebody whom, yes, you do share a strong attraction with, but whom you also know you cannot have a long-lasting and meaningful relationship with, because something much more important is in the way, like being unable to talk openly with each other. I can't speak for you, but that'd break my heart more than I want to think about.

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