Balancing Togetherness and Individuality in a Relationship

Dolls by Nicole Turofsky

One of the ways to describe our relationship is that we are in balance. That is, of course, a metaphor, as is nearly all of language. It works so well here because of its multiple meanings.

The first is of a seesaw, which is a cooperative venture, not a competitive game. We are not fighting over limited resources. Love, praise, support and caring do not have data caps. There is no benefit to being up while the other is down; being in the air is no better than feeling grounded, it’s just different.

Balance is also used in book-keeping and its digital children, spreadsheets. We take care to NOT track every little item because we make different contributions and they can’t be equated easily, it evens out in the long run, contributing and helping feels good, and what we contribute benefits both of us.

Another reason we stay in balance is that we can stand side by side without encroaching on each other’s space. (That’s metaphorical space, mainly.) Each of us does our own thing. We don’t interfere with each other because why should we? Whether it’s what movie to see or what’s for lunch, there’s no benefit to interfering with what the other person wants to do.

There are, of course, joint areas of life where this doesn’t apply, like if and when and what color to decorate, but we’ve found how to navigate these and arrive at a place that works for both of us. That’s a topic all to itself, and we’ve written about this elsewhere.

Another example of balance is those round-bottomed dolls that that are weighted on the bottom and no matter how you punch at them, they right themselves automatically. This applies to us because we are each able to stand on our own. We’re competent, we’re self-assured, we’re not co-dependent. We both have a positive view, both of life and of each other. This last is really important. You see what you look at. If you look at the flaws in your partner, you will see a flawed partner; if you count the positives, you will rejoice in them.

The deep seated balance we have and foster in our relationship makes us uniquely ready to work with whatever comes into our life. We support each other in our individual responses, as well as communicating from a place of merged goals and understandings.

Live life with your partner like you dance with them: constantly changing, yet always in balance Click To TweetWe work from the knowledge that we are both on the same side and both committed to full support and honoring of each other as individuals. We can be different and think differently and even act differently without this causing any sense of estrangement or threat. We are not looking for sameness. We are not looking for one of us being right or wrong. We are not trying to win in any exchange. The only solution we accept is one where we both win.

Finding harmony in the relationship is the key to this calm ability to address any issue or event and know that we will find our way through it together. So live life with your partner like you dance with them: constantly changing, yet always in balance.

Postscript: Due to Maude’s recent retirement from a very demanding job, the tense political situation, and the fires raging around us here in southern California, everything has been in flux. We went to see a production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, a charming imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice. It was so refreshing to be transported for a couple of hours back to 1815. You should treat yourself to a similar break from the worries of 2017.

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2 comments on “Balancing Togetherness and Individuality in a Relationship
  1. Finding that balance of “us” and “me” is really important. In my first marriage, we were so independent of each other, that we eventually drifted completely apart. Some couple I know seem joined at the hip, which I would find stifling. So far so good on my second chance. We’re still happy after 11 years.
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    • Maude says:

      Samantha, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head. Finding balance in this arena is one of the key ingredients in life, and in relationships. It is great to hear that you and your partner are creating this form of harmony!

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