July 12, 2013

“Love is Friendship Set on Fire.”

[Disclaimer: The following is not based under a self-imposed label of an expert, but rather as a continuous participant in the experiment known as life]

“Love is Friendship Set on Fire.”  ~ Jeremy Taylor

This brilliant quote highlights the essence of relationships with our significant others.

So, what does that entail exactly? First, lets define the basic foundations of a solid friendship:

  • Mutual Respect
  • Compassion First, Reaction Second (Emotional Intellect)
  • Listening and Communication Skills
  • Patience
  • Support
  • Being a Unit—Me turns to We—Refers to a collective bond

This is the broad umbrella of elements that constitute a healthy and un-stagnated friendship. It is from further developing these points, that we build effective and happy partnerships with our significant others.

Keep in mind there are various idealistic notions and judgements we conciously or unconciously bring into them as well.

One of these is the age old concept of happiness which is actually invalid: it is not that another person’s happiness supersedes yours.  It is more that their happiness is important to yours (we must still take care of our own emotional health).

Happiness, therefore, becomes a collective experience instead of a solitary one.

After the idealism fades or we get jerked into reality, we must look to what was built to keep any relationship long lasting, which at its very core, should constitute the above mentioned parts. Under this broad umbrella are also small facets such as remembering that no one is perfect; recognizing and respecting your partners need for space, decisions and timing, as well forgiving and forgetting their mistakes.

If we fathom the deepest and most nourishing relationships we have, we’ll find that these values, through time, become innate.  When delving into a partnership or attempting to nurture one you already have, take a look at that list.  Are we forgetting some of them?

If so, be immediately proactive.

They can be as simple as placing reminders around your home like plaques beautifully designed by Etsy artisans or handmade yourself.

Better yet, why not make it a family activity (the definition of family is, ofcourse, entirely subjective) and nurture the purpose.

If it’s more serious, always turn to licenced professionals for counseling—either collectively and/or individually (if there are personal roots to uncover)—not your friends.

Remember that the entire premise of relationships is to promote growth.

Nourish what you can and keep in mind that understanding your needs versus your wants and being true to yourself is also in of itself a critical foundation; this is imperative for allowing a completely open transformation from Me to We.

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{photo: French erotica, 1930s via Tumblr}

Ed: Sara Crolick

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