Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Connecting Space

There are times while standing in some line that the person behind me is way too close. I mean, they are standing right next to me. I might move a bit, to give myself a little space, but then they move a bit, too, and they are still right on top me! I feel like giving them a stiff elbow, or stepping on their toes, or turning and sneezing into their face.

Conversely, there are times when someone behind me in line is way far away, like 8 feet back there. Then I am, like, yo! Do I have cooties or something? Do I stink today? Why are you so far back there? Can you not trust yourself standing near me?

Then there is space in a relationship, which has less to do with physical space and more to do with emotional and mental space, although the two usually go hand-in-hand. Now, I haven’t been in a relationship in over a decade, but I have dated during that time, and can draw on the before-time as well as recent escapades to talk about space in a relationship.

Most of the woman I have dated have not lived nearby; they have lived across town. Usually 40 to 45 minutes away, without traffic. None closer than 30 minutes. I assure you this was completely unintentional. I would much prefer to date someone closer. It just never worked out that way. Mayhap you could argue I was lackadaisical about dating those women because of the distance, in which case space did play some role. Or more like travel time to cross that space.

If I am “just dating” someone then I  expect there to be space. If that dating becomes a relationship, then I expect less space, i.e. more closeness.  If I like you then I like you, and I want you around. If I start to say “I need more space” then clearly I don’t like you as much. Don’t confuse this with me engaging in an activity by myself. The two loner activities I do is read and play a computer game. The woman with whom I have a relationship is welcome to read next to me, or play the game, too. The question is, do I do those things to as simple hobbies, or do I use it as a means of pushing her away? The latter would mean I need more space; that is, I don’t like you as much.

Someone recently said to me, “everyone craves human connection.” Aside from hermits, I guess. But maybe hermits just suppress or ignore that craving. How much connection is enough? What type of connection? What if you don’t get enough human connection? Is that when you go out drinking and attempt to connect with anyone,  until you wake up the following morning next to someone who you don’t want anyone to know you woke up next to?

Some people might need human connection so much that they can never really be on their own. I know people like that. Do they force relationships just to satisfy that craving? Do they end up with someone they really are not compatible with, but ignore the red flags for the sake of human connection? Sure they do, and they typically pay the price later but then solve it by immediately finding another relationship

It isn’t really about craving human connection, since it would seem we all crave it, it is about how well you tolerate a lack of human connection, and what you would do to satisfy that craving the longer you go without.

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