Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Freedom in Love

Two HeartsWhat is the distinction between mature love and the symbiotic relationship? Mature love is stable, a union of two people who respect themselves and each other. Symbiotic love is needy and dependent….read on for the difference between the two:

Mature love relationship: requires giving your love with no strings attached, with no expectations. Many of us have learned from society that to give means “to give up” or “to give away” — in essence, creating a deficit in ourselves. Further, we learn to give only as much as we expect to receive in return, lest we end up feeling cheated by giving more. Giving, as it exists in mature love, is quite different from these types of messages we have received. Rather than being seen as a sacrifice or an investment in future returns, giving in mature love comes from a desire to give and an ability to do so.

Upset coupleSymbiotic relationship: one partner gives up a significant part of himself or herself in order to maintain a peaceful relationship. This individual, ruled by a fear of being alone, will sacrifice parts of his or her identity for the sake of keeping the relationship intact. Short-term conflict is avoided, and the status quo is maintained. In the long run, though, there is a price to be paid: the loss of one’s individuality. If one partner idolizes the other and is willing to sacrifice himself more completely, then the other partner has more power and control over the relationship. When the balance of power is unequal, the relationship becomes unsatisfying for both partners; almost inevitably, it ends. There are a lot of people willing to give up an awful lot to avoid being alone. They are willing to give up who they are, what they are, and what they want and need. They are willing to sacrifice their individuality for the love of another.

Read next weeks post to find out more about maintaining your individuality in a relationship from Paul Mauchline – “The Art of Loving”. . .

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