Personality Cafe banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
we all know those couples who seem as though they do everything together to the point where they speak on behalf of their partners, adopt almost identical values, are besties with their in laws and seem only to ever have "me time" in each other's presence.
conversely, there are couples who shudder at the thought of cohabitation (*cough* habituation), or anything that even hints at commitment, preferring to evoke an indefinite flair of mystery around how they express their most personal selves.
most of us probably fall somewhere in the middle, or find that our own preference slightly clashes with our partner's, but for those who identify with either extreme, what do you think your motivations are for relating in this way?

contrary to what it may seem on the surface, i find that certain extraverts can be social in a very independent, bordering on neglectful way, and some of clingiest people i have ever met have been introverts (usually IxFx). maybe you guys have noticed some more specific type-related patterns.

i'm thinking where you fall on the intimacy-autonomy scale has a lot to do with childhood imprinting and attachment style. likewise, there are different dimensions of I/A which causes our preferences to sometimes overlap and struggle with maintaining a balance.

we're all stumbling on happiness in search of our other half; someone who 'gets' us magnificently, shares our life passions, and wants to build a life together eventually; but there is always the tempting risk of sacrificing too much for the relationship, forgetting who you are or who your friends were before mr or mrs right was ever in the picture. is it harder for you to maintain your independence in a relationship or attain the level of closeness/connection that you've always wanted?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,605 Posts
I'm not really sure I completely understand the OP. I know that I am a VERY strong individual so unlike many people I don't worry about being overwhelmed by someone else. No matter how much I care about them, I know I will always be myself. As for what I need, I think that I'd be perfectly satisfied with an occasional "I love you" from my SO.
 

·
fire breathing dragon
Joined
·
2,810 Posts
I'd prefer to be very very close with the person, and have a really strong bond with them that was shared with no one else. BUT, I wouldn't feel the need to have them around me all the time. You can live together and be together in the same room quietly. You don't have to be talking in order to spend quality time. You don't even have to be doing the same thing to be "together". I want a bond thats strong and unbreakable but doesn't require being attached at the hip. You know, having deep, passionate bonding moments and then having our time alone to do independent things. Why do people always act like you can only have one? Its called balance.

Also, I wouldn't be with someone who didn't share my same values. It just wouldn't work out. Id probably notice someone who felt the same way I did about some things. I don't understand why people try to merge/date people who are too far outside the scope of what they are willing to live with. I'd never expect someone to switch to my religion (im not religious, but you get it), Id never expect them to switch to my lifestyle etc etc. I'd just look for someone who already had the qualities that I wanted in a mate or else I wouldn't bother wasting my time. Im rambling, I'll stop now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
I'm not really sure what I want anymore.

However, a healthy level of separation is absolutely necessary for a relationship to stay sane, at least for me. Plus, I like the feeling of missing someone when I don't see them, and the anticipation of looking forward to seeing them again. That can't happen if we're always in each other's company.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,128 Posts
The dynamic of the relationship itself will naturally determine the right amount of 'closeness' for me, provided that we are well matched.

Most of the time it will be somewhere in the middle I'd assume, but I can't say that there would never be possible outliers on either extreme.
 

·
THE IRON GIANT
Joined
·
10,129 Posts
Most of my relationships have had a serious lack of attachment, which I think was part of what made them problematic. There was an imbalance between myself and my partner in this area, usually she wanted to be closer to me than I wanted to be to her. It took an amount of self-discovery to recognize the source of this, and realize that it was a problem. I sometimes find it alarming how attached I am to my SO right now, but the fact that she feels the same makes it OK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,676 Posts
I wouldn't want to be in one of those relationships where we're completely glued to each other and get no time to ourselves. I'm one of the firm believers that a healthy relationship is when a couple give space to one another, so in that sense, I wouldn't want to "merge" with my partner too much. I end up feeling suffocated really.

On the other hand, emotionally and mentally, I want it all. I want my partner's everything, and I want to give my partner my everything. It's very important for me to feel that intensity and connection. Detachment on an emotional level tends to cause me distress, and eventually leads me to find the relationship unfulfilling. I like to be close with my partner, the intimacy brings everything to a whole new level. So while I like to give my SO his space and him giving me mine, nothing makes me happier than my SO being really attached to me.

I'm the same with my friendships by the way. I find very unsatisfying superficial friendships that lack depth and intimacy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Good relationships don't just happen, they take patience, hard work and two people who truly want to be together.
That being said, the perfect relation for me seems to be where i can be myself and my partner can be herself. No hip ties are necessary, knowing that you can count on that person whenever you want, doing things together of for each other or the priorities i guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,783 Posts
I wouldn't want to 'merge' at all.

I don't ever want to feel like who I am is inseperable from who someone else is...you know?

That doesn't mean I don't ever want to live with a partner, or marry a partner, or have children with a partner. But if and when any of those things happen, I'm going to need to stay 'me' and he's going to need to stay 'him'. We can share things, as partners typically do, but we both need to stay somewhat independent and have our own interests and pursuits, or it's never going to work (for me personally).
 

·
Maid of Time
549 sx/sp
Joined
·
14,749 Posts
i'm thinking where you fall on the intimacy-autonomy scale has a lot to do with childhood imprinting and attachment style. likewise, there are different dimensions of I/A which causes our preferences to sometimes overlap and struggle with maintaining a balance.

we're all stumbling on happiness in search of our other half; someone who 'gets' us magnificently, shares our life passions, and wants to build a life together eventually; but there is always the tempting risk of sacrificing too much for the relationship, forgetting who you are or who your friends were before mr or mrs right was ever in the picture. is it harder for you to maintain your independence in a relationship or attain the level of closeness/connection that you've always wanted?
If I understand the question right, I guess you're asking if we naturally fight to preserve our independence or to draw closer to the Other in our relationships.

I'm a strongly ambivalent mass -- my natural instinct seems to be to "enter the black hole" (careening past the event horizon) in an attempt to know everything and be perfectly in sync with my love, but at the same time want to preserve my own sense of self/identity and not lose who I am in the process. Why do the two have to be synonymous? Why can't I be at one with someone without losing my sense of self? I just want to be known and accepted and loved regardless of the good/bad... not just lose myself or be exactly like the other person.

I would say in a relationship where I feel safe, I'm very open about my thoughts and feelings. However, it can sometimes take awhile for me to be "safe" enough to share very personal things; I've been badly burned in my life by people I should have been able to trust, and even when I feel that I can trust someone, at times I realized I was wrong.

The other issue is more practical -- how I invest my actual time, doing things together, relying on each other in a practical way, expecting the other person to step in and meet my needs. I felt very alone and abandoned during childhood by my parents and I still have this tendency now; I don't even like to share groceries with roommates because I feel like they will take all my things and I won't have what I need for me. If it's someone with whom I have pooled my resources, that is one thing; but typically I feel like I can't depend on anyone to look out for me, or I will suffer / be deprived / go without.
 
  • Like
Reactions: koalaroo

·
Registered
ENFP
Joined
·
4,206 Posts
.. I love this topic! Interesting links:
Attachment Theory
Adult Attachment Styles Quiz

For me, it depends on the relationship. I don't think that our patterns of attachments are prescriptive- they may be predictive.

I find that some relationships bring out the best/worst in me. While others, no much.

I think chemistry between two people (mental, emotional, physical) has a lot to do with bringing out our attachment patterns from childhood- sorta like resolving unfinished business from the past, unconscious desires to pacify our needs played out into adult attachments- very ego-based. Some people fear rejection and will avoid intimacy or keep others at arms lengths so they will reject others first before they get rejected, while others are constantly worried and yearning for more, sorta like how kids respond to their parents.

There have been studies on how adult attachment patterns relate to how we bond with our pets- which is similar to how we bond with our partners. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,294 Posts
However, a healthy level of separation is absolutely necessary for a relationship to stay sane, at least for me. Plus, I like the feeling of missing someone when I don't see them, and the anticipation of looking forward to seeing them again. That can't happen if we're always in each other's company.[/QUOTE]

Very true! However, I would LOVE to see my partner more often even if we were living together and stayed in the bedroom.
I'd say about 50/50 on this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,800 Posts
I think its important to have a strong merge with you partner on an intimate level. However, it is equally important to have separate interest and independence within a relationship too. You don't need to be in different houses in order to experience this space. 2 people can be in the room and still be focused on different things independently. We can still miss our partners by living somewhat of an independent life too. Spending every waking moment with your partner isn't giving you enough time to miss the other. I like to have interest outside of my marriage that doesn't include my husband, this way when we come together it makes our time feel special.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
If I understand the question right, I guess you're asking if we naturally fight to preserve our independence or to draw closer to the Other in our relationships.

I'm a strongly ambivalent mass -- my natural instinct seems to be to "enter the black hole" (careening past the event horizon) in an attempt to know everything and be perfectly in sync with my love, but at the same time want to preserve my own sense of self/identity and not lose who I am in the process. Why do the two have to be synonymous? Why can't I be at one with someone without losing my sense of self? I just want to be known and accepted and loved regardless of the good/bad... not just lose myself or be exactly like the other person.
yes that was what i was asking. i suppose i should also clarify that i'm not suggesting anyone should "want" to fall into either extreme to the point where their relationships become problematic, just that initially we are motivated to seek the "right" amount of closeness, and i was curious about how this differs for everyone. we may settle comfortably into a pattern only to realise later that maybe our natural inclinations are not all that conducive to cultivating the kind of relationship we want.


thanks strawberrylola for the links, i find attachment theory really interesting too. those who have no issues maintaining a strong sense of self-worth/independence while asserting their intimacy needs are likely to have a more secure attachment style, while the other two polarities reflect a more avoidant-dismissive vs anxious-preoccupied way of relating. interestingly, anxious and avoidant people are often drawn towards each other because they both help to reinforce already existing beliefs about themselves (that i am better off on my own/my partner is too needy, or i constantly need more attention/my partner is too neglectful). it makes sense that different relationships trigger different attachment responses/long term adaptations, and finding the right partner who helps us re-model unresolved childhood issues can be a powerful means of healing unmet attachment needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,782 Posts
I'd prefer to be very very close with the person, and have a really strong bond with them that was shared with no one else. BUT, I wouldn't feel the need to have them around me all the time. You can live together and be together in the same room quietly. You don't have to be talking in order to spend quality time. You don't even have to be doing the same thing to be "together". I want a bond thats strong and unbreakable but doesn't require being attached at the hip. You know, having deep, passionate bonding moments and then having our time alone to do independent things. Why do people always act like you can only have one? Its called balance.

Also, I wouldn't be with someone who didn't share my same values. It just wouldn't work out. Id probably notice someone who felt the same way I did about some things. I don't understand why people try to merge/date people who are too far outside the scope of what they are willing to live with. I'd never expect someone to switch to my religion (im not religious, but you get it), Id never expect them to switch to my lifestyle etc etc. I'd just look for someone who already had the qualities that I wanted in a mate or else I wouldn't bother wasting my time. Im rambling, I'll stop now.
This. Except for the rambling part at the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,224 Posts
Merging is second nature to me. I have an instinctive desire to do it, to intimately know someone, the good and bad, their fears and dreams, to share those things in myself with them, etc etc....

I am good at holding that instinct back, though. I know some people are not appropriate targets for such intimacy. It's only something worth doing if there is a real mutual connection. Even then, limits are good. Distance is just as necessary as closeness. Balance is key.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top