For many years, I have had a philosophy regarding the quality of relationships. I have shared it with many people along my journey, but I have never written about it. Recent events in my life make this philosophy seem increasingly relevant, and so I would like to go ahead and share this with the world.
First, I will note that when I use the term “relationship,” I am not narrowing the focus to romantic relationships. You can apply this philosophy to friendships, business partnerships, and romantic relationships. A creative mind can also see that this applies in its extreme form of the relationship between you and someone you have never even had contact with (like a celebrity or politician).
The philosophy is straightforward. It states that the quality of all relationships, regardless of their nature, is fundamentally determined by two factors: shared experience and communication.
If you communicate with someone with which you have had no previous shared experience, isn’t it quite difficult to relate? Alternatively, you may have many shared experiences with a person, but if you have never met to talk with them, then this is also a poor relationship.
Long-distance relationships are challenging to maintain. Why? I theorize that it is because even though you may communicate with other people on a very regular basis, that eventually genuine interest will be lost because you have no new shared experiences with each other.
Person A can tell Person B everything about their day. Person B can be genuinely interested in Person A and the events described. Still, after enough time, this relationship is nothing more than Person A talking about Person A and Person B talking about Person B.
On the other side, Person A and Person B can have lots of shared experiences: work together, attend class together, live in the same neighborhood, and enjoy the same foods and nightlife. But if they have never met each other to talk about their shared experiences, their relationship is also weak.
I believe that the most common exception to this theory is during honeymoon periods when people always seem exotic, fresh, and new. But that honeymoon period does come to an end eventually. Love and a long history of being in a high-quality relationship with another person can also deter the negative results of having too few shared experiences or too little communication for a short period.
The best way to keep any relationship healthy over the long haul is by continuous shared experience and maintaining excellent communication.
Do you have examples of this being true or not true? Agree or disagree? Please write a comment below or message me at @judsonlmoore with your thoughts.
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