Every relationship you have is a 2-way street (and that goes for non-romantic relationships, as well). It’s a feedback loop. Your connection to your partner is based off of a communication feedback loop that is constantly flowing and has the potential to change frequently. That being said, it is also important to note that the connection you have with your partner may not be the same connection they have with you. This also means that what you get out of your relationship/from the connection may be different than what they get from you. “What you give is what you get,” is not an accurate statement. Here is how the feedback loop works…
You have two separate jobs within this feedback loop. These jobs are:
- Choosing what to give (driving your car down the road toward your partner)
- Paving the road your partner’s car will drive on (this determines how well what they plan to share is received, how much of it you actually are receptive to, how easy you make it for them to give it to you, and how you perceive it, etc.)
These are the 2 basic foundations on which your 2 way street connections lie, and the baseline for all communication. Imagine that you have multiple cars or bikes or people or frogs or whatever the hell you want to send your partner’s way. Each one is a form of communication/a piece of communication you are sending them. These can be well-built, broken, weathered, full, empty, etc. The people you connect with are doing the same thing to you. The road you have built determines how well you receive their communication.
Customizing Your Connection
Since people get to choose which things they are a part of…your road can be accessorized with road blocks and potholes (if you’re trying to distance yourself), or simply detouring or rerouting or sending off an exit ramp any particular ‘type’ of connection/communication that is sent your way. After all, a connection is simply a stream of communication back and forth. Hence the 2-way street. A connection is made up of communication. Some verbal. Some non-verbal. Basically everything we can possibly do or think is in part a form of communication. (Though our thoughts are more often communication with ourselves, and represent our connection we have with ourselves; but can also impact the structure our road takes in connections/communication with others, as well as the way in which we perceive the things we are sending and the things that are sent to us.)
If our internal connection with ourself isn’t in healthy working order then regardless of how healthy and maintained someone else’s personal connection with themself is…our own unhealthy internal situation will negatively impact both the way in which we construct our roads for our partner’s to send communication on and the things we are sending on our partner’s constructed roads. (Again, note here that it can be any relationship and does not have to be romantic partners.) Therefore, the communication we send others (as well as ourselves) is greatly influenced by all our thoughts and actions.
Every choice you make in life will in some way affect the flow of communication (and therefore the connection) between you and others, and between you and yourself. Though the road for each person you are connected to is a separate one (the connecting road to your mother isn’t the same road as the one to your boyfriend/girlfriend), they are all still impacted by your internal and external environment. When you bring negative influences around yourself (drugs, shady people, bad situations, etc. anything that is unhealthy for you) it will impact you, and by the ripple affect, impact everyone you come in contact with, because it shapes the way in which you choose to construct your road and the way in which you choose to send things out (and for that matter what kinds of things you choose to send out). Therefore, maintaining your own health is the best way to help others maintain their health, too.
The excess of impacting factors (on your end and the other person’s end) creates an imbalance on the two streets. This represents the differences within the connections you both feel to each other. Some of this imbalance is natural, as we are all different people who think in different ways and want different things. Our feelings for each other don’t have to match up perfectly and we don’t have to be working together towards the same goals. However, giant imbalances can be unhealthy, especially when at least one member of the relationship is searching for a more balanced connection. These imbalances can range from incompatibility to plain toxicity. All depends on those involved and their personal thoughts about both the connection they hold with this person, as well as their thoughts on the concept of connections.
In more basic terms… What you put in isn’t automatically what you get out of a relationship. Even if you send a ton of positive communication to your partner, and pave your road flawlessly for great communication reception… What you get depends also on what your partner is taking in (determined by how they pave their road), and what they are choosing to send out. It’s a constant back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes what you’re responding to is their response to something you sent, which may have been a response to something they sent. Everything is interconnected. An action, a thought, a feeling… nothing is black and white. Nothing is done or thought or felt in isolation from the rest of your reality, from the rest of your situation, etc. You can’t fully separate one piece of information out from another because they are all intertwined. Keep this in mind when interacting with others. Are the ways people interact with you impacted by the way you are interacting with them, or yourself? Is the way you’re perceiving the situation affected by the way your day has been going? Do the thoughts/feelings going on inside of you have anything to do with the way in which you are interpreting others? And is it a big deal, or just a slight inconvenience, that the people you have certain feelings for don’t mirror those feelings for you?
Connections are made up of communication. Verbal. Non-verbal. LOTS of non-verbal. And everything you can imagine affects the way in which you communication, and the way in which you perceive communication from others. Thoughts. Feelings. Past experiences. Family history. Ethnic background. Religion. Values. Everything affects how you see yourself, and how you see the world. Everything affects how you see other people. Make conscious choices in the ways you choose to construct your roads of communication, and in the things you choose to send down other people’s roads. Like the polyamorous saying goes, “Communication is key!” Don’t let the quality, or lack of, communication you have with someone destroy your connection with them.
P.S. The way you construct the space where you RECEIVE the information, not just the road it comes down, affects a lot, too! (Consider space, time limits, requirements, etc.)