Thursday, September 04, 2008

Safe Harbor

I was talking with my girlfriend, K, tonight, and I realized something about this relationship that's different than others that I've had. It's the safest I've ever felt in opening myself up to another person. Even with J there was fear and uncertainty, and that was the most open I'd been with a woman in my whole life till then.

As K and I talked tonight, an analogy hit me:

A romantic relationship is like a harbor, with a sea wall to keep the worst of the tempest out. It's a place to rest, to recharge, to fortify oneself before heading into the world (sea) again. Each person brings different things into the building of this sea wall that protects that fragile harbor. Consequently, each couple's sea wall is very different, which effects the relative safety of the harbor.

If one person brings sand, and the other cement, a relatively strong wall can be build. If one brings clay and one brings rocks, also, a rudimentary wall can be fashioned that will keep most of the turbulence of the sea out of the harbor. Turbulence within the harbor can quickly erode that sea wall, so it's best avoided at all costs. This means belittling your beloved or blaming, accusing, cheating on, or ignoring will erode that wall.

But this relationship feels like we brought rocks and concrete. Our wall is thick, and high. We take turns protecting, listening to, and healing each other in our safe little harbor. We've also, already developed a very good system of communication where each one of us can take personal responsibility (referred to in the therapy world as owning) of our own issues, and not need to ever point out the others faults. (we already know what they are anyway) :-)

By keeping communication up and blaming down, owning up, and accusing down, we keep building our wall higher, thicker and stronger. This keeps the occasional waves of disharmony from totally destroying that wall, and that wall of safety, in turn, quickly dissipates those disharmonious waves.

I like this little analogy. I like my safe harbor. I like the woman that was willing to put herself forward and help me see how well we fit. Even though I was fearful.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I revel in metaphors and analogies... and this one, my friend, is quite cool.