Michael’s Theory of Relationship Persistence

3 08 2008

It’s been a while since my last blog. So let’s hope I’m not too rusty at it, and this post doesn’t suck ass.

Before we start going into details, though, you, the reader, need to know how we are measuring the strength of a relationship. In this exploration of the topic, we will be talking about two opposites: physical intimacy and emotional intimacy. In basic terms, I think we can safely define physical intimacy as anything sign that you can see from an external point of view, such as holding hands, making out, sex etc. while emotional intimacy is invisible, untangible, for example, missing the other person, caring about the other person etc.

Personally, I think the best way is by measuring the emotional intimacy of a relationship. Now I know that you can’t ACTUALLY measure this, with like an emotional intimacy-o-graph or something, but we can sort of see the emotional intimacy of a relationship by how close two people are. And not physical closeness, like holding hands when they go out, but emotional closeness, like caring about each other, wanting to hear about the other’s day, missing the other person, other stuff like that. (Very scientific I know).

On a side note, I think that physical intimacy between two people should come about as a result of emotional intimacy, as opposed to the other way around IE an emotional bond as a result of a physical bond. For example, if two people love each other, then the physical relationship IE making out, sex, whatever would naturally occur as a result of the emotional connection. In the inverse, when sex is a priority, there is no guarantee that an emotional bond will occur, as evidenced by the scores of one night stands that occur.

This is some evidence enough that relationships built on physical bonds don’t last. Some of the strongest relationships I know are built with emotional intimacy as a foundation, and from personal experience I can say that when physical intimacy exceeds emotional intimacy in a relationship, that relationship is probably not going to be successful.

Of course, there is no definitive law that says “All relationships where the physical intimacy levels exceed the emotional intimacy levels will fail sooner or later”. No. What we can deduce, maybe, at a stretch from the very little evidence, is “Relationships where physical intimacy exceeds emotional intimacy tend to be less successful than relationships where the inverse is true.” Even that is a stretch because the data is very limited.

So, in an ideal relationship, physical intimacy should come about as a result of emotional intimacy, and not the other way around. Um … I wanted to say a whole lot more on the topic, but I have totally gone blank. I will edit this post or post a new one when it comes back to me (and if it comes back to me).

Ok comment! Go go go! Tell me what you think! If you thought it was rubbish, or agreed with it, or anything.

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6 responses

4 08 2008
Brian knott

I think you are totally right. Hence why i believe friendship before dating.

4 08 2008
Caroline

I definitely agree with you. Especially from a girl’s point of view, half of the connection and fun you feel when being physical with a person is as a result of not having to wonder, “will he still like me tomorrow?” or, “will he call?” or, well any of the other insecurities we members of the fairer sex tend to experience.

Perhaps I am way too much of a romantic, but I think that emotional intimacy is eternal, as opposed to one night of (usually) regrets.

5 08 2008
Anon

“Lovers embrace that which is between them rather than eachother.”
Khalil Gibran

9 08 2008
kellyansara

Ok Yeah… Emotional intamacy first… P.s Mike I have a emotional intimacy-o-graph in my cupboard… really LOL

Ok seriously, I guess you are right but its only natural to be sexually attracted to the other sex so wouldn’t physical intimacy just be a result of our animal need to populate… hmmm I actually wouldn’t know.. I was just real excited you posted a new post.. YAY!!!

LOL it wasn’t rubbish…:D

27 10 2008
anewbadwolf

At some point does one’s relationship need physical intimacy to “advance” the emotional intimacy?
Meaning after a strong emotional base for the relationship is formed does the physical intimacy strengthen the emotional?

interesting topic

20 12 2008
calia77

Here here! As someone who’s always done relationships starting with the physical (and is still single aged 31), I’m hoping that next time I can get it the right way round.

As to your indicators of emotional intimacy – if missing someone is a sign of attachment (I’ve extrapolated a little on your theory), then I’m totally screwed at the moment! 😉

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