Friday, March 28, 2014

Don't Look for a Relationship, Look for Your Best Friend

Little factoid: Did you know penguins mate for life?
You could read all the psychology books in the world on relationships, but are you really reading about you and your significant other? It's so generalized with gray areas flooding the pages one by one, but sometimes you can get a small piece of wisdom through a select few articles. I was reading this one piece about "thinkers" and "feelers". Bear with me because most of this may apply to heterosexual couples, but in the same breath, I do believe there is a cross gender aspect to same sex couples. In other words, it's finding the difference between men and women, as well as the more 'masculine' same sex gender and their more 'feminine' mate. Although I consider both my wife and I to be more on the feminine side, Madelene definitely holds most of the "male genes" in our relationship, as far as behavioral and mannerisms go, yet she is all woman, and roars on occasion.

Okay, where was I?

The website included these differences between thinkers and feelers.

Thinking types:
  • Firm, fair and rational
  • Interested in logical analysis
  • Make decisions with the head
  • See logical inconsistencies 
  • Value truth and logic
  • Driven by dispassionate objectivity 
Feeling types:
  • Caring, passionate and emotional
  • Interested in people and feelings
  • Make decisions with the heart 
  • Feel how others are feeling
  • Value tact and diplomacy 
  • Driven by passionate subjectivity 

Here's the problem with thinkers being with feelers. The below demonstrates how one possibly feels about the other.

Thinkers may see feelers as: 
  • Illogical
  • A little soft
  • Overemotional 
  • Irrational
  • Inconsistent 
And feelers may see thinkers as: 
  • Cold and inconsiderate
  • Uncaring and overly hard
  • Insensitive
  • Too robotic and logical
  • Lacking humanity

Have you ever heard anyone reference men as "fixers" and "problem solvers", while the woman of the relationship is "overemotional and wants to talk the problem out instead of fix it"? I truly believe that in a relationship, a "feeler" cannot be with another "feeler". For instance, in a lesbian relationship and of course, my past relationships that didn't match up so well, there was no balance because I went for another "feeler". We were oversensitive, overemotional and at times, irrational. The balance between my partner and I can be frustrating, because sometimes I don't think she takes me seriously and feels I'm irrational most of the time, but she also makes me see a different side of things --- a more logical way to see it in another light. That's a plus in my book. On the flip side, I also show her the reason why I'm so overemotional about whatever, and she listens with her logical little noggin. It's a win/win.

I remember a time when my wife and I separated for a period of time, my friend pointed out something unintentionally offensive, yet I knew what she meant. She said, "Your partner is very surfaced." I had to ask what that meant because I wasn't clear on the term itself. But what she was trying to say was, there was no emotional attachment to her conversation. I instantly knew why. My wife doesn't like to get very involved with people she doesn't know well and she's also a very private person. She will give you factual chatter, but nothing about herself or "how she feels", because let's face it -- she's not a "feeler". Me on the other hand, I'm an open book. I don't tell anyone else's personal stuff, but I have no problem revealing some of my own inner emotions. They may not be logical based stories, but definitely stories from my memory, heart and emotions. This is why I seem to click better with writers and artists. They think with their heart and not their head.

I'm not a huge fan of "opposites attract", as you've probably read from previous articles. We definitely have a common thread -- the glue that keeps us together so to speak. which are many things, like our faith in God, our love for music and the arts, cookouts as well as being very family oriented. I'm not sure I could be with someone who was at odds with their family or had no faith in God whatsoever. I believe the person you're with edifies the person you already are. They should compliment you and vise/versa and they should never try to change the person you are. People who have too much in common seem to have more conflict because they're either too emotional about the problem, which is a messy scene, or they are just too "surfaced" and never address the real issue. They seem to skirt around it, because it's "logical" to remain peaceful and not argue, even if it may help.

These are just my 'emotionalized' opinionated thoughts on relationships. I also think there are many people who go for mates for a specific reason other than love. Maybe it's for security, safety, money or just wanting an extra parent for their kids. Many factors go into the reasons why someone wants to be with someone else. Sometimes it's not about love. Sometimes it's about survival.

Do what works best for YOU.

About two weeks ago, my wife and I went into a local bar and grill to just hang out for a bit. A woman who looked a bit disheveled came shuffling up to our area, drunk and a bit disturbed. She managed to slur out of her beer-ridden breath, "Well it sure is nice to finally see some ladies in here!" After a bit of (unwanted) small talk, she got into her whole life story. She explained how she was married to a man who she now hates. They both are abusive to one another and she wants nothing more to do with him.

My "thinker" mate asked, "Well why are you still with him?"

"I can't afford not to," she said, while taking another slug of her stale brew. "I don't have any qualifications to get a job and nobody wants to even hire me at some dinky donut shop, so I don't know how I would possibly live alone."

I spoke to Mad about this afterwards. I couldn't help but think about what I would do if I were in her shoes. I would rather go on Welfare, try pursuing a job and live in an efficiency studio apartment than live with someone I hate.

One of my favorite proverbs is this one: "A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than a steak with someone you hate."

Your home should be the one place you absolutely love and feel safe in. It's the place where you kick off your shoes and curl up into a comfortable ball of coziness. You're not supposed to fear arguments, fights and vicious battles from within your own klan, your own home, but unfortunately, this happens much more often than not. I'd rather live in a dumpy efficiency than in a mansion with someone I disrespected and didn't like. No amount of money would ever make me stay with someone I detested. I can't do that. Maybe it's easier said than done, but there is always something you can do to get out of an abusive situation. I'd seriously rather live in a shelter! I just don't get it.

Don't look for a "passionate relationship" --- look for your best friend first. Find him or her and hold onto them for dear life, because every relationship must have a foundation of friendship first. My mother always tells me, "Marry someone who can make you laugh. If you can laugh with them, you'll be happy with them forever!"  It is so true! Laughter is the best medicine, and if your significant other can do that for you, the both of you will live a long, healthy and loving life. Relationships may not be perfect all the time, but if you have some type of common ground, a good balance and lots of laughter, you should be grateful and counting your lucky stars. I know I do.

I love you, Madelene. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!