Just thought I'd post a bit about what's going on in my life. I haven't been posting much on the forums lately. That's because I've been working hard to start up a web writing business. I went through a program called the Ontario Self-Employment Benefit, and now I'm a bona fide entrepreneur. You can check me out:
(Not spamming, promise! I already checked and the links are nofollow so there'd be no point. Just thought a few of you might be interested in what I'm up to.)
Sometimes a discussion gets out of control on these forums but it's still valuable. That's what I like about online communities -- varying perspectives coming together to challenge each other. Changing your mind isn't important. Understanding where the other person is coming from is.
Recent conversations with Trish left me thinking. This isn't a forum for discussing relationships but the topic still comes up. Topic goes from a girl asking about a guy she's potentially interested in to broader questions about relationships in general and our general outlooks on life. Obviously romance is a sensitive topic. And sometimes the best advice isn't the easiest to take. Comments are welcome, but please, let's try to stay civil.
Some dangling thoughts:
(1) Human beings are naturally polygamous and intermittently monogamous creatures. Just because you're with someone now doesn't mean you'll be with that same person in five years. Even if you have kids. The ones who figure out that it's smart to stay together in the long term and have enough passion to do so are the lucky ones.
(2) Love is biological. That doesn't make it any less beautiful. You can love more than one person at the same time. Love changes. It progresses through stages. Once the initial spark dies out, it's going to be different. You're going to have to communicate. That doesn't mean you don't love each other any more. In fact you have to go through some bad times to get to the truly good ones.
(3) The whole "backup plan" discussion is stupid and was blown WAY out of proportion. I've thought about it and it's conceivable that someone could be in a very longterm relationship without ever having other options that they seriously considered pursuing. Statistically speaking though, I think this would be very rare. And the partner who did not consider having other options would have to be either deeply in love or conservative enough to ignore his/her biological impulses. This doesn't change the fact that having such impulses is natural and doesn't mean that a relationship is over. No offense but if you're under 25 you're probably not really qualified to comment here.
If you're ACTUALLY interested in learning about the biological frames of reference I'm talking about, look into evolutionary psychology. PM me for sources.
(4) It hurts. No one ever loved without losing. That's part of the picture. You have a choice. Let it own you or own it. You don't ever really move on, but would you really want to? Grow with it. Live with it. Don't beat yourself up for your mistakes. Let yourself feel the anger. Let yourself be sad. Every emotion has a purpose.
(5) Emotional investment and behaviour. We behave differently towards others based on our degree of emotional investment in them. Our behaviour also alters their level of emotional investment in us. If a relationship falls out of balance because of a life situation, it can alter the level of emotional investment that partners have. No one is to blame for this. The situation is to blame. The remedy is to address your behaviour. Paying attention to your behaviour does not mean you are being cold or manipulative or analytical. It means you are being mature. Active listening, no-fault communication, healthy distance, and trial closeness are all tools to add to your repertoire and increase your chances of having a successful longterm relationship or marriage.
Anyway, that's my opinion. And it's based on a lot of research, interviews, and life experience. If anyone objects to any particulars I'm happy to engage in a civilized conversation on these matters.
I'm staying with my folks for a couple of months so I can focus on finishing the book. One of the advantages of living here is the 87 acres of forest to explore. After a long time living in the city, it's actually pretty refreshing to be surrounded by nature, and as the snow melts away, I'm getting more excited about exploring again, just like when I was a kid. Every day my brother and my friend James and I used to go back and make adventures for ourselves -- finding trees to climb, making new trails, and discovering new secrets in the woods. Our property merges out back with the river, and if you follow the riverbank, there are so many things to discover.
Closer to our house is a creek. If you go back this time of the year, it's just starting to fill up as the ice melts. Out on the front yard, the snow is all gone, but back there the shade of the trees has preserved some of the snowbanks, and there's still ice on the banks of the creek. I've been going back every day to spend some time at the creek. The trickling sound of the water is comforting, and it reminds me of all the best parts of my childhood. I like to just stand there and breathe, and be alone with myself for a while. I remember going back at this time of the year as a kid and kicking all the ice along the bank so that it would fall into the creek. I would sometimes get a big heavy branch, and crack even more of the ice, pushing it all in to flow with the current. I remember feeling like this was "helping" the creek start to flow faster, so that all the ice would be gone, and spring would come. I've been doing some of this every day, to help spring along its way. I think it's working.
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