The Space To Be Close

“If I didn’t argue with you,

I wouldn’t have been married

to you for 72 years”

Selma and Kenny

Depending on which book you are reading, the experts say that the secret to a long and happy relationship is “do not argue with your partner” or “go ahead, argue.”  I wonder if this either-or-way of seeing the world is helpful.   Maybe it is not about whether or not we argue with others, but what we do with the space that is created by differences? What if, instead of giving folks the idea that following one of these ideas will lead to authentic relationships with those in our lives, we talked about the space we need in order to be close to others?

Sometimes you have to allow for the disconnects, the differences of opinion that naturally occur in relationships.  Afterall, everyone needs to represent themselves..even if your true self is at odds with others.

Sometimes you have to give disconnects their rightful space… to simmer, letting the humanness rise to the surface.  The arguing is not the hard part…it is tolerating the disconnect, waiting to see what well-guarded gem is lying beneath the surface of the argument.  You may not resolve the issue today, tomorrow or next week.  You sit with it, be curious about yourself in relation to it, and know that it will arise again…giving you another chance to get to know yourself and significant others on a more genuine level.

When we make room for our differences, we allow space for authentic and intimate relationships with the people in our lives. A wife says to her husband, as they are encountering a new issue in their marriage, “Logically, I understand why you are doing what you are doing.  But, it is a new way of thinking about things for me.  You will have to allow me some space to think about it, and know that I will keep coming back to talk it out with you.” In this space, they discover new things about each other.  In this space, the walls come down and we see each other for our real-selves, not the idea we are projecting onto them (an idea they will never live up to, by the way!).

Finding your balance:  Your challenge is to do more than simply avoid or put-up with the disconnect. Change happens when we lean into the difference. When we are curious and thoughtful, willing to represent ourselves to others. As well as listen to the other’s truth.

The next time you find yourself feeling disconnected from someone, don’t rush and fix it, don’t avoid it.  Find Your Balance by allowing for the space to be curious and thoughtful, and then returning (again and again!) to represent your authentic self and listen to never know what you will discover!


As a side note,  I hope that you will not limit this way of thinking about differences to your romantic relationships.  Try it out with your co-worker, sister or neighbor.  I am interested in hearing how this shift allowed for growth in any relationship.



Posted: Monday, April 30th, 2012 @ 6:42 pm
Categories: Balance, Change.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .
Subscribe to the comments feed if you like. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply