One can have all kinds of things that they look for in a relationship with another person. And some of these are going to be more important than others; this means that some of them will be able to be overlooked. But if this relates to what truly matters, then conflict is going to arise if they are missing.
For example, if one had a certain look that they went for and the person they were attracted to looked different, then this is unlikely to be a problem. Just as if this person had a different body shape or was taller or shorter. These are fairly insignificant differences and can be put to one side in most cases.
And the two needs that can define how one will behave and how others will behave both in the beginning of a relationship and as it develops will be the need for connection and separation.
Although everyone is going to have these two needs, it doesn’t mean the one will embrace both of them. It could be that one of them is more important at one stage of their life than the other is.
And if they have experienced one for too long, then there is going to be the need to experience the other one. Because while each side can enhance one’s life, if they were stay in the same position for too long, it would begin to have the opposite affect.
One might have the need to be connected with another and try to merge with them. At first, this is going to cause them to feel loved, supported and protected. And yet as times goes on, this could result in them feeling smothered, trapped and engulfed.
Just as one might want to be separate for a while and not get too close to another. In the beginning this is going to cause them to feel free and give them a sense of power. But after a while, they could end up feeling lonely and disconnected.
The first is to embrace the feminine side and to surrender to another; whereas the second is to go with the masculine aspect and to resist another. Each one has a time and a place; with neither one being more important than the other.
While this dance of coming together and moving apart is part of a relationship, it can also stop one from getting into a relationship with another. This dynamic can sabotage a relationship and cause one to go from one interaction after another and even settle for casual encounters or one night stands.
It will all depend on how strong these needs are and how aware one is of them. The need to be close to another or at a distance can go on out of one’s awareness and then how one behaves will be unknown to them.
If one has a strong need to be connected to another and to experience being at one with them, then they will often be the needy one in relationship and find it difficult not to be in relationship.
And if one has a strong need to be separate and this need can be fairly unconscious, it could mean that they have a tendency to go from one relationship to another. These could last for a matter of days or even a few weeks; just as they could end up having a string of casual encounters.
There are naturally going to be many reasons as to why someone would cheat. And one of the reasons people cheat is to emotionally separate. They might feel smothered in their existing relationship, and going with someone else allows them to feel free, albeit momentarily. So an affair might take place to prolong this feeling.
This is an example of someone excising their need to be separate and it is often done without one being aware of the real reasons for their actions. The ideal would be for them to address the challenge head on, instead of needing to go with someone else just to ‘feel’ different.
What often causes problems is when one has these needs but is unaware of them. When this is the case, one will sabotage their relationships; engage in casual encounters that are not what they truly want or end up cheating for instance.
To look at this logically, it could be said that if one wants to feel free or create distance, then they only need to express this to the person they are with. And the same goes for them wanting to feel close to the other person.
However, while this can seem straight forward, what can cause one to act unconsciously and to not speak up is due to the power of what happened during their early years. What happened then could have caused one to associate being close to another as being smothered or to be separate from them as being abandoned.
So these early years would have disabled one from being able to be comfortable with closeness and distance. And then it becomes a problem for one to be comfortable with both.
The feelings that arise when one gets close to another or when they separate from them, will have first been felt when they were younger. With a man it is likely to be the result of how their mother treated them and with woman, it is could be how their father was.
These feelings would have stayed in their body and will be triggered by others. The kind of people that one attracts and is attracted to may also remind them of their mother or father, or both.
In order for one to be comfortable with closeness and separation they will need to release these trapped feelings and emotions. Through this process, they will be able to be in touch with these needs.
It will then be possible to get these needs met consciously and without needing to engage in destructive or dysfunctional behaviours. As a child one wouldn’t have had a choice, but as an adult they do. These feelings and emotions can be released with the assistance of a therapist, healer, trusted friend or ones partner.
Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With several hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include “A Dialogue With The Heart” and “Communication Made Easy.”