Assigning roles and affixing labels
The tendency is to assign roles to people in our lives. We tend to see people for what we desire them. Instead we could allow them to find their own role in our life, and in doing so give them reason to let us find our role in their life. The balance is achieved when both allow the other to give what they can and what they will.
Instead of fostering growth in the people close to us, we instill rules to be followed, either spoken or unspoken. The natural flow of the energy in the relationship is replaced by standards a relationship must follow because of how it is defined. To qualify as a friend, you must follow these rules. To qualify as a boyfriend or girlfriend you must follow these rules. A different set of rules is put in place depending on how you have decided to define the relationship.
Go ahead. Fuck your friends.
People are always going on about how you should not have intimate relations with a friend because this will ruin the friendship. There is no reason it has to, other than the fact that these people maintain a different set of rules and regulations for friends and for lovers. In a natural energy flow between two people, the relationship evolves and changes as the people do. They grow and evolve together, accepting and loving each other for who they are, not for who they've decided the other should be. And we spend most of our lives figuring out who we are.
The reasons why people avoid letting the natural flow happen is generally a combination of insecurity and learned behavior. We are supposed to follow these rules. They are the rules everyone follows. The insecurity comes from being afraid a change in the relationship will leave one with the "short end of the stick." People cling to things very tightly, especially people, as a result of fear and insecurity. The fear of being alone and the thought of abandonment is a powerful fear.
The type of relationship that involves physical and emotional intimacy is generally the type that bears the most rules, regulations and efforts to control and define the other person. Everything is examined. Everything is checked. All too often, when these types of relationships change, when the two people are no longer together as intimate partners, there is anger and animosity. Why? Because people tend not to see this period of intimacy as a temporary period in the relationship. Instead, they believe either they were betrayed by the other person or that it was never meant to be and they were wasting their time. Often all the good that came during the temporary period of intimate partnership is discarded in the wake of these negative emotions.
Yeah, love has a lot to do with it.
To understand, it may be required to make a study of the meaning of love. Some may define it as devotion and see that devotion as requiring they follow rules of behavior. This may eventually lead to not being truly honest about the nature of their feelings or changes in those feelings. So many, when involved in an intimate partnership, raise that partner to a "higher standard." They are better than any before and there will certainly be no other who could follow. The image of perfection is cast onto their concept of love. This is meant to be, a concept supported by marriage vows that insist on language promising eternal devotion or "until death do us part." There are very few such partnerships that are meant to last that long, and even fewer that are meant to remain in the same state of devotion eternally. We're conditioned not to let go. As such, an intimate partnership, with or without a marriage vow, that changes becomes labelled a failure.
Here's the thing. It wasn't a failure.
An intimate relationship or a marriage that lasts five years in spirit is a success. If it lasts six months it is a success. For as long as it exists, even for five minutes, it is a success. The lies about marriage being forever have perpetuated great misery through the ages. A moment in time, for as long as it lasts, is worthwhile. Let the change happen and you will be happy. Check out the kind of people who stay married forever out of misplaced devotion when they can no longer so much as stand each other's presence. They held on for too long. They needed to let go when the time came. This cost them happiness in return for upholding a misplaced virtue of devotion. A life of misery is born from dedication to a definition rather than real love for a person.
Three Queens Revisted
In my own life I have faced a riddle called "the three queens." What did it mean? What was I supposed to do for these three women? They were attractive and interesting, and I followed a pattern. I would fall into the trap of trying to "make them my girlfriend." When one did not work out that way, then the next had to be the answer. When the second did not work out that way, then the third had to be the answer...
Why would I do this? Seeing more clearly now, I realize that I never allowed the natural energy of my relationships with these women to progress, change and evolve. I was stuck on the myth of needing some kind of monogamous life partner. Just because someone is attractive and interesting and belongs to the sex I prefer for physical intimacy, why would I do this to them? Why would I try to force it to go in this direction instead of allowing them to find their own place in my life?
In order to form balanced, meaningful relationships with other human beings that are mutually beneficial and allow for growth and acceptance of change, we need to alter our thinking. Instead of defining others in our terms, we need to allow them to define their roles in our life. When change comes, we need to learn to accept it. By doing so we allow the love we feel for people, no matter what kind of relationship it might be, to guide us instead of pride and learned standards. By doing so, most people we care about would remain always in our lives and we would embrace and help each other on greater levels.
Pride and jealousy call on us to be "the best" in the lives of people close to us. There is no reason for this if we are all equal as human beings. Ego seeks to become number one, to be the champion, to be the greatest of them all.
Fear and learned interpretations keep us from letting go of people. We've learned to see letting go as personal failure in too many cases. Is allowing another to grow and change a personal failure just because they may no longer be able to continue the type of relationship we desire from them? If we can let go of the concept of how we defined the relationship and allow the change, in most cases we won't have to let go of the person.