Relationships Defined – Part II
Julie is fraught with anxiety and confusion trying to understand why Rick has rejected her. She thought she knew the rules–how love and relationships grow–how relationships are defined. Now, she seeks counsel from the relationship counselor who introduced her to the Six-Step-Dating strategy. Let’s listen in on the discussion.
“Dr. Braun,” Julie said, her eyebrows knitted tight like a squeezed accordion, began. “I thought I understood, I thought I knew what I was doing. I met a man who meets all the criteria of my selection profile, but the relationship isn’t turning out the way I thought it would. Something is wrong. Why, I’m no better off with the profiles than without. My relationship with Rick couldn’t have turned out worse!”
“I can see you are clearly troubled,” replied Dr. Braun. Explain in detail what happened.”
Julie began twisting a strand of hair, and related the entire situation.
“Now I don’t know what to do. I haven’t heard from him. He’s not returning my calls. What went wrong? What happened?” Julie pleaded.
Dr. Braun leaned forward; her fingers clasped together steeple-like and spoke.
“Julie this is going to be a difficult session for you today. We’re going to talk heart to heart and discuss some issues that might make you feel anxious, even defensive. For instance, what happened to following stages 1-3 of the dating process?”
Julie quickly looked away.
“Ok Julie let’s begin by defining the term ‘relationship.’ You mentioned the term over and over again in describing the interaction between you and Rick. Julie, what do you mean by ‘relationship’ with Rick?”
“Well, we had a connection. We communicated easily and enjoyed each other’s company and were developing something very special between us. So I guess I would say a relationship is a special bond between two people who care for each other.”
“Yes, that’s right. A relationship is a special bond between two people who genuinely care for each other. But how is that foundation for caring built, and upon what is it built?”
Julie fidgeted in her seat, but did not answer.
Dr. Braun continued, “Two elements are closely tied together to form a relationship: friendship and time. Let’s look at friendship first–it’s the foundation of a relationship.
“Friendship is a ‘history’ of two people who connect in ways that share common interests, foster intimate communication, complement growth and development, and encourage support. It’s built upon trust and loyalty with someone you know will be there for you in good times and in bad times.
Someone who understands your ups and downs. Someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses and still cares. This person is your alter ego, a confidant, a person who’s been there over the long haul. These are the bonds established between couples during stages 1-3 of the dating process.
“With this definition in mind, Julie, in what ways would you say that you and Rick share a history as ‘friends’?”
“Julie, you don’t even know Rick, not in a way that even remotely resembles a deep friendship.”
“That’s not entirely true,” Julie said defensively. “There was something between us, something very special and very strong. It was the beginning of a relationship.”
“Sorry . . . wrong “R” Julie. I don’t mean to be cruel, but what you and Rick had was not a relationship–it was a rendezvous.”
Julie felt the blood rushing to her face. She stood, tossed her hair in a defiant gesture, and started to pace.
“That’s your interpretation. I was there. I could feel it. I know there was something special between us.”
“Like what?” asked Dr. Braun.
Julie turned, narrowing her eyes as she tensed, waiting to hear something she didn’t want to hear.
“What you had was a very powerful sexual attraction,” said Dr. Braun. “Red-hot –which you both insatiably indulged in. Period. End of story.
“It takes time to develop a friendship. It takes time to get to know the needs, desires, hopes, ambitions, likes and dislikes of another person upon which to establish a friendship. Let’s face the facts here: You and Rick talked over the phone and via e-mail for six weeks. You met him at a villa. You slept with him virtually upon first sight and every night thereafter. It was a weekend of hot sex and fun. That’s it!”
“Sit down, please,” Dr. Braun said as she reached and touched Julie’s hand. “I know this is very difficult to hear. We’re women and our hearts are so vulnerable. All we really want is to love and to be loved in return.
We reach out from our heart to give our love and it hurts when we are rejected. Your intentions were good. You reached out to another human being in love. You had no hidden agenda, no ill intentions, and no purpose other than to give and receive genuine affection.”
Squeezing Julie’s hand, she continued, “Your good intentions, however, were not backed with sound reasoning based on a clear understanding of how men view sex and love. What many women don’t realize is how vast the difference is. Women tend to view sex and love as one entity.
Men don’t. They can view it as two separate entities. They can completely detach love from sex. If they were going to attach anything to sex, it would be challenge. A challenge somewhat like sport — like winning a sporting contest.”
Julie lowered her eyes. Biting her lower lip she asked in a hushed tone, “How can I get him back?”
Dr. Braun exhaled. “What do you mean get him back? Julie, listen very carefully … You never had him. You were not in a relationship with that man.
“You’re wondering why he hasn’t called you or returned your calls. It’s because he enjoyed the rendezvous for what it was. You’re the one who’s planning a wedding. He’s moved on. You were on the rebound. He was on the rebound. You met, you loved–that’s that!”
Clearly distraught, Julie whispered, “I hear what you say, but I still don’t understand. It was more than sex. We were genuinely interested in each other in many other ways. I know that. We had a lot in common. . . . I still don’t understand.”
Dr. Braun rose from her seat and walked over to the window. Her mind sought words to both educate and instruct without belittling to keep Julie’s self-esteem intact.
Julie learns these 5 key points during this session.
- friendship and time are the key elements to developing love that grows
- Dating out of sequence of the six dating strategies doesn’t work well
- Women often view sex emotionally
- Men often can detach sex from emotion
- Women must allow enough time to discern the difference
Next we’ll reveal how sex, men and human nature interact to make love grow.