Hi all –
I realized something about myself today that is helping to explain why (among other things) I am always more attached to my friends than they are to me, and why it’s so much harder for me to end the friendship than it is for them.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Triangular Theory of Love, it is based on 3 dimensions:
Intimacy – Which encompasses feelings of attachment, closeness, connectedness, and bondedness
Passion – Which encompasses drives connected to both limerence and sexual attraction
Commitment – Which encompasses, in the short term, the decision to remain with another, and in the long term, plans made with that other
My realization was that whenever I experience Intimacy, I seem to automatically experience Commitment as well, in the sense that getting close to someone makes me highly-devoted to that person and makes me want our relationship to be permanent. To date, I don’t seem to have been capable of experiencing a high degree of Intimacy with a person without simultaneously experiencing a high degree of Commitment to that person.
This has proven problematic because it has always been extremely painful for me to lose friends with whom I had developed Intimacy, but the fact that our parting wasn’t as painful for them makes me realize that they were probably not as committed to the friendship as I was, and that they were capable of experiencing Intimacy without Commitment.
So, I have a few questions for you.
1. Are you able to experience a high degree of Intimacy without Commitment?
2. If so, does this just seem to happen naturally, or can you point to particular things you do that enable you to feel close to other people without feeling so committed to them that you will be hurt if/when the friendship ends?