Living In Relationship

About a week ago, I was on my way to Barnes and Noble and was listening to the radio. My hubby always turns it to talk radio. That is not my preference, however I’m the type of person who is not able to walk and chew gum at the same time…so the idea of driving and changing the radio station could prove to be catastrophic. Anyway, this female deejay was talking about how everyone at the station was always on the road, and she said, “I pass us all the time.” She was referring to how she passes her coworkers on the interstate, but they seldom actually see each other face to face. That one sentence grabbed me. I couldn’t wait to pull into the parking lot and write it down. Why? It was something I wanted to mull over a bit more. I started thinking how we pass “us” all the time in life, not on such a physical realm but an emotional one. We pass one another all the time in our own households, on the phone, and even in eye to eye meetings. We often physically connect, but not emotionally. We might even share emotions at times such as when we cheer on one another or grieve together. We even often tell others we love them. But how often do we tell them WHY we love them and what they truly mean to us. Are we afraid of rejection? Do we fear we are sharing too much of ourselves?

What does living in relationship mean to you? Or does it depend on with whom or what this relationship exists? And then things get all complicated when they get categorized into casual relationships and personal relationships. And then you can stretch it farther into spiritual, community, and work. It can be never ending. I suppose to most people a relationship simply means a connection. It is true that we connect on many levels with all sorts of people.

To me, a relationship is not that simple. A relationship is not superficial. A relationship is not something I enter to see what I can get out of it, though I am often well rewarded in ways that are beyond explanation. I am the type of person that I have many acquaintances, but few actually move up to what I consider friend status. Call me snobby if you want. I call it honesty. Don’t get me wrong. I like people. In fact, there are very few people I dislike or am truly annoyed by…and those people are usually infected with narcissism. To me a friend (whether a relative or otherwise) is someone whom I share an emotional connection. To me, relationship is a two-way emotional connection, a partnership of sorts.

This is not to say (and it sounds as if I am contradicting myself but hear me out.) that I don’t have any superficial relationships. I have them within my own family. I have superficial relationships in what I consider my community. Superficial relationships are surface relationships. You don’t deal on a receptive and giving level. It’s the type of relationship we have with most of our “friends” on Facebook or other social networks. And there are times we must sever connections with those people as well. I don’t do well with people who constantly cause drama, feed off controversy, or I have absolutely nothing in common with. And at the same time, I have had deeper connections with people I have never met personally through writing. Sound crazy? A relationship involves being able to hear words that are not spoken aloud. Same thing goes with reading between the lines or read into the tone of the message. Not everyone is able to do this. Is it a gift? I think it is a connection…not in the physical sense but the emotional one. I have actually had people email me after a post and ask how I am because they sensed that I was hinting at something much more than what my words pointed out.

Have you ever known someone (maybe your spouse) that you can sit and “just be” with? Are you able to look across the room and catch that person’s eye and know what he is thinking or be able to finish one another’s sentences? Are you able to make decisions for them (if needed) and know that it is exactly what they would have chosen? I call this living in relationship at it‘s best. We can’t all have that same level of intimacy with everyone as time and distance prevents it. However, don’t you have friends with whom you share great passions and common interests? Don’t you have people with whom you share dreams and life? Of course, we all talk about the weather and gossip (whether or not you admit it) at times. But do you talk about what makes each of you tick? Some people are not comfortable talking about emotions; however, they experience them all the same. Do you take time to acknowledge feelings even when not spoken? Sometimes that acceptance can be acknowledged with a smile, a touch on the shoulder, or a hug. I think each of us on some level seeks validation from the world and our relationships within it. It is equally important to have relationship with yourself. If it doesn’t make sense to you, take some time to think about it. It takes reflection on one’s soul and one’s motives. It takes courage and honesty. You must trust and accept yourself in order to give and receive it. I believe we were created to live in relationship, to not only exist together, but to love and live in communication. You don’t just live in this space with those people you are in relationship with, but those people live in this space you open in your heart.

41 thoughts on “Living In Relationship

  1. Yes! Being in a relationship is so much more than just existing in the same space. As an 8 yr old, my oldest son told me that it takes two people to be in a relationship (he was severing ties with my ex-husband at the time).

  2. Strange, suzicate, reading this I think of a quote I read yesterday or this morning that also stuck in my head:

    “If one day you realize I haven’t talked to you in a while, it’s not that I don’t care, it’s because you pushed me away and left me there.”

  3. Very good post. I, like, you have many people I enjoy talking to, but have only one or two people that I consider true friends, the kind of friends that would drop everything and come running.

    The only person I am truly on the same wave length with is my wife.

  4. Just had a long lunch with a dear friend with whom I get together about once a month. What an appropriate blog to return home to! In fact, we discussed this very thing. I, too am someone with many acquaintances but few I call friend. Is it me or has narcissism increased in the world? I have people who seek me out to dump the the gory details of their lives on me but never once ask “Hey, how are *you* doing?” or “How’s *your* family?” Once they talk “at” you for an hour, they move on (usually to the next breathing person to tell the story again…and again…and again). I’m not the type to turn someone away who needs to vent, but a person like this could never be a friend. There’s got to be reciprocity in relationships. The “it’s all about me” thing wears thin pretty quickly.

    There’s nothing greater than feeling a special connection with another person. That truly is living in relationship at its best.

  5. I think “in relationship” can mean just that; how we feel about events, people, experiences, etc. in relationship to our own lives. I have some very strong relationships, but not a lot of them. We all have “casual friends” but don’t really consider them the first person we would call if we were in trouble. I think we connect with people for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s a quirky sense of humor, sometimes it’s a shared experience, sometimes it’s shared passions.

  6. There are few people I can just “be” with but luckily, I married one of those people. We are both great at just chilling and when we want to talk, we talk. It’s easy.

  7. Pingback: Living In Relationship (via The Water Witch’s Daughter) « Duke1959's Blog

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject of relationship. This is what life is all about. We thrive on relationship. I feel sorry for people whose troubled backgrounds have stolen from them the ability to trust and feel comfortable in relationship. Blessings to you, Suzi…

  9. ” … not able to walk and chew gum at the same time…so the idea of driving and changing the radio station could prove to be catastrophic” — you and I are peas in a pod that way!

    D and I are reevaluating what kind of relationship we have and would like to have at the moment. Not easy territory, but being better connected with each other emotionally is at the top of the list for both of us. The unspoken understanding, which you describe, is what’s been hard to feel when we’ve been apart for so long. (And we’ve been back in the same city for nearly two years!)

    Timely post for me, SuziCate.

  10. I think I only have those really deep relationships with my kids and ex and current boyfriend. Everyone else gets a part of me, but not tooooooo much. I feel too vulnerable if I let anyone too close.

  11. “I am the type of person that I have many acquaintances, but few actually move up to what I consider friend status.”

    Me too Suzi, and I think I’ve shared that with you on one of your other posts last year. I may know a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I consider them close friends. I can honestly say that I’m the same person with everyone, however there are different levels of communication within each of those interactions. Some are deep, others may not be.

    Like you, I’ve met a great many people online (through blogging) that I feel tremendously close and connected to. More so, than some people I know in person. I think blogging is such a wonderful way to gradually get to know someone through the energy of their words. And know them very deeply.

    “Have you ever known someone (maybe your spouse) that you can sit and “just be” with? Are you able to look across the room and catch that person’s eye and know what he is thinking or be able to finish one another’s sentences? ”

    Yes I have, and I cherish them!

    Fab post, dear lady!


    • Yes, I did mention that in a previous post…felt I needed to repeat it in this one!!! I so enjoy the connections that I have. It’s always a joy to converse with you.

  12. I think we connect with different people on different levels depending on who “connected” we are with them emotionally. I can connect more through words than mostly anything else. I cherish my connections I have made through this medium. Thank you for making that possible for me.

  13. My relationship with my wife is one where you think there is no communication on most days but at the same time we are on the same page, our thoughts are the same and suggestions that one or the other makes is just what the other was thinking, I love the fact that I have her and that she knows what I am thinking even when I don’t.

  14. I certainly do better in relationship. I have that comfortable flow with Jason. I don’t remember having one so completely before (or maybe just being able to be myself). I have close friend from high school, but not anyone else. I’m like you, I have to really connect and I find expressive people (on-line and sharing) are much easier to do that with.

    Interesting concept – are we passing “us”?

    • It is easier online and I think it’s because of the somewhat anonymous, not know them on an eye to eye basis. Yes, I thought it was an interesting concept, and I think we are often passing “us” in everyday life.

  15. I often tell my hubby why I love him and I appreciate him.

    I think that there are different levels or types of relationships. I believe in casual ones and deeper ones.

    And you are funny, as I’ve told you before. Your lines aren’t so close together that I can’t read between them. 😉

    I love just “being” with my hubby. We don’t even have to be in the same room. I just like to know that he is there. And every once in awhile we’ll check in with each other. He is another one that thinks he is not easy to read, but he is pretty transparent — to me anyway.

    I believe that it we are meant to have all different types of relationships. Not every one can be deep and meaningful. Sometimes casual ones serve their purpose. If you can have a deep one, like the one you are talking about then you are blessed beyond most people. I don’t know that I believe we were ALL meant to have that, but I believe if we do we are dang lucky and we should work to keep it.

    Lovely post. A thinking type of post. 🙂

  16. I am still searching for “the relationship” … It tends to make me look at and sometimes evaluate all my relationships maybe too often. I don’t do “acquaintance” relationships very well … I have them, but I don’t get out of them. I much prefer my close relationships, they are the ones with meaning to me,
    Thanks for this fresh view of something I spend a lot of time thinking about these days.

    • I hope you find what you are looking for. Often it comes along when we aren’t searching…but the beauty is that you’re building meaningful relationships along the way.

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