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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Insight and Intimacy

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You two look so cute together in photos! But do you and your Very Special Someone (VSS) have a relationship that deserves such smiles? These key three reflections can help you find the answer.

Can you listen and respond to your VSS? Being close to someone does not mean both of you will share everything. At a certain point, it may seem like you know how to read your VSS and can figure out what’s going on even when you two don’t talk. But communication is everything, for without it, you do not have a relationship. There are two of you, so please remember: you are Not That Important. You know your view of the world best-we get it. Now stop obsessing over yourself and listen. Listening means more than hearing your VSS’ words: can you understand what thoughts are going on behind the words and actions you can see? Trust that people do what is obviously most sensible to them. Understand why it is reasonable before taking offense or jumping to your own paranoid conclusions. Really try to understand both sides of what is going on. This can lead you to resolution when it’s needed, or it can lead to seeing just your VSS needs and won’t say. Either way, true listening before acting will make your relationship more rewarding.

Who are you in context of your relationship? Dating almost certainly makes you act differently around your VSS than with your friends or by yourself. It’s a natural consequence of your exclusive, close connection, and others can see a difference in you. You have good times and benefit from this close relationship, but intimacy has costs. Maybe it makes you stressed to feel responsible for your VSS, or perhaps you act needy because your VSS solves every problem that could enter your life. You could try extra hard to look perfect just to be sure your VSS will stay interested, but that insincere effort will eat you up along the way. Maybe having this much attention makes you brash and domineering. Check yourself when alone- in your photo, are you smiling because you are happy? Because you’ve made your VSS happy?

How does your relationship impact your ability to be a friend? This is final test of whether your relationship is worth keeping. How much you claim to enjoy it is superficial. If you ‘disappear’ because you cannot spend time with anyone but your VSS or you begin to treat your friends worse because of your relationship, abort. Get out now. Your relationship should make you a better person, should make for a life that is more enjoyable, peaceful, and meaningful. If you and your friends can agree that you are better off with your VSS, then you’ve found someone truly special.

But if the relationship fails any one of these: fix it, or nix it.

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