When Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, producers of miniseries The Bible were introduced to the audience in a talk show, they walked to the stage holding hands. Roma sat in such proximity to Mark it appeared she was sitting on his lap. She extended her arm to rest on her partner’s leg while holding his fingers.
Downey looked at Burnett before answering every question; was she going to…? Would she ever…? Are they going to…? I could see her answering the same to her friends and family: “I have to check with Mark” “Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark…” devoting all her time and energy to her “soul mate”, her everything.
So sweet, so….suffocating.
Closeness should not equate complete togetherness to the point of losing our identity in the devotion. While the success of a relationship is closely related to mutuality, fusing one’s being into another to the point of losing oneself is counterproductive and unhealthy. Closeness should not take away individualism.
I don’t want anyone to become my everything. I don’t want to be anyone’s everything. I have been someone’s everything and it has not been good. It has not had a good outcome.
A suffocating relationship becomes an unhealthy habit, an addiction difficult to break from, impossible to live with.
Conversely, a strong healthy relationship can stand on its own. It should not displace nor replace others. Family and friends should not sit in the back burner while a new flame glows. That flame should be strong on its own.
There was a commercial in the 80s of a kid on a tree. He asked his dad “Dad, do you have time?” and the man below replied “As much time as anyone else”.
That phrase has a powerful meaning. Everyone has the same amount of time. It’s what we do with our time that makes a difference.
There’s time and energy to be in a committed, strong, once-in-a-life-time, relationship and still maintain one’s individualism and identity, and a relationship with others, friends, and family. A close relationship needs space to breathe so it can grow stronger.
Without that room to breathe, it becomes suffocating and unhealthy.