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June 29, 2012

Addendum: Collaborative Intimacy

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 3:51 pm

HER: I read your Opposite Triggers Attract post. It reminded me of a theory I first read in Harville Hendrix’s Getting the Love You Want.

ME: Huh, I’ve never heard of that. *googles* Oh! Yeah! Imago therapy. This is exactly the thing I was referencing.

HER: I’m a little resistant to theories like that because they feel unprovable. But, of course, when I feel strong resistance to something it’s probably because there’s something in it that I don’t want to admit about myself.

ME: Sure. I think this model is a tool for thinking about relationships, not necessarily a fact about how they work. Although I do think it’s probably generally true that people find themselves in the relationships they’re in — or, at least, stick with the relationships they do — in part because they’re being challenged in them.

HER: Yeah, absolutely. That makes sense. Because if you weren’t being challenged, you’d be too bored to stay. But if you’re being challenged too much, then it’s hard to stay also. So, there’s kind of a sweet spot.

ME: I think that sweet spot, for me, is when I’m being challenged by something about the relationship itself, rather than something about the person I’m in the relationship with. When there’s something about the relationship’s structure that’s difficult. That way, rather than the struggle being between us as individuals, it feels like the person I’m in the relationship with and I have a project to work on together. It can be a really difficult project, but it’s also a way to solidify our connection with one another as people. I also like the way this makes it feel like, potentially, you might be able to stop working on this particular project together, but still have a connection to each other that allows you to come up with different projects to work on in the future.

HER: That makes sense.

ME: Yeah, huh? I kinda want to write that down.

HER: Do it!

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