Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Rhythm and Energy of Relationships

Another important part of a successful romantic relationship is rhythm and energy. I found this fascinating (and have experienced it to be quite true). I know I am more comfortable with someone who moves through life at my speed! For example, I enjoy quick repartee, and if I have to explain all my inferences, it's just not as much fun.

When partners have two different speeds, unnamed and inexplicable friction sometimes occurs. If you are sensing constant irritation with a partner, without concrete instances to which to point, examine how each of you approaches a specific situation. Is one you a tortoise and one a hare?

Dr. Nathaniel Branden in The Psychology of Romantic Love, What Love Is, Why Love Is Born, Why It Sometimes Grows, Why It Sometimes Dies, states, “Biologists have discovered that every person possesses an inherent biological rhythm, determined genetically and only slightly modifiable within the first two or three years of life, almost never thereafter. Biological rhythm shows up in speech patterns, body movements, emotional responses, and is part of what we often call “temperament.” Closely related to the foregoing is the fact that some people are naturally and inherently more energetic than others, physically and/or emotionally and /or intellectually: they move, feel, think faster or slower; they react faster or slower; they seem to experience different relationships to time.

Sometimes two people find a subtle, often mysteriously continuing friction between them. They cannot explain it. They feel strangely “out of sync” with each other. They often feel irritated and have difficulty accounting for their feelings. In such cases, the barrier to their successful relationship may well be incompatible differences in biological rhythm and inherent energy level.

The person who is naturally faster feels chronically impatient; the person who is naturally slower feels chronically pressured. Often, the faster of the two responds by becoming faster and the slower becomes even slower. Each tries to force the other to accommodate to his or her natural state, unaware that what is being demanded is more or less impossible. Not understanding this phenomenon, they will commonly invent reasons to explain their quarrels and disagreements; they will look for faults in each other; and when they break apart they will explain the break in terms of those alleged faults. They will remain unaware of the deeper reasons for their incompatibility.

The happy side of this equation is when the partners do feel in sync. There is a marvelous kind of resonance between them as if they are moving to the same silent music."

This rhythm of which Branden speaks is also apparent at the inception of a relationship -- starting at the very first meeting. Relationships often take off or die depending on the momentum. Even if there are mutual feelings of "like", if there are long periods in between meetings, these feelings never get a chance to take hold. If you find someone with whom you really connect, you might try to keep the contact going until real feelings get a chance to take root. If this is not accomplished, you could be faced with the 'out of sight/out of mind syndrome.' Then each time you see each other, those good feelings need to be recreated instead of just being built upon established feelings. And, as a rule, it's usually easier to continue then to start fresh.

Next up ... Will Being In A Relationship Solve All My Problems?

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