The Ecstasy that Comes with Balance
The Story of the Seesaw
“Does anyone not remember the joys of that improvised, splinter-ridden fulcrum of Saturday pleasure, the seesaw? The delight in finding someone roughly our own weight, and after getting the board balanced between us, practicing sending them up in to the sky, and then being pulled ourselves up to the same dizzying height then down, then up again, augmenting and amplifying these movements by synchronous pushes until we made the board bounce? Then practicing the subtleties: balancing precariously at dead center; sliding treacherously forward as we let our partner crash with a thud to the ground, sliding suddenly back on the board to leave him stranded in the air; learning the precise leverage necessary to ride with someone heavier than we. And most critically learning that sustaining this almost sexual ecstasy required both our efforts. Once we got stranded in one position, the fun was over.” –Augustus Napier in The Fragile Bond
Linda: What we have observed of the happy couples my husband and I have interviewed is that one of the reasons they are enjoying their relationship so thoroughly is because they are fluid, experimental, and creative about the ways in which they conduct themselves. Rather than be stuck in the up or down position, they are graceful in their movements. Here are some of the areas that they have found balance:
Work and Play: They have commitment to their work, and play a lot to offset the time spent working.
Giving and Receiving: There is a great deal of generosity of spirit and also having the quality of receptivity that allows for being a gracious receiver.
Yin and Yang: There are times to be a good follower and times that call for initiation.
Dependence and Independence: There is time to be the strong, autonomous one and other times to let ourselves lean on another.
Thinking and Feeling: The rational word of thoughts and logic has its place but so does that rich world of emotions.
Material and Non-material World: We all live in the practical world of the marketplace, requiring paying attention to jobs and money. And there is another elegant world that is spiritually, and/or relationship oriented.
Together and Apart: These couples seek both mutual and individual pleasures. They are not joined at the hip doing everything together. They have their shared interests and friends, but also have separate interests and friends.
Closeness and Distance: They are fluid about who pursues for connection and take turns being the stand for separateness.
Power and Vulnerability: Both partners can be powerful and give support and can also be open and receptive. They can be assertive and also express tender feelings of fear, pain and sadness.
Teacher and Student: Both can be open, and humble in the position of the student and can be in the leadership position being authoritative as a teacher.
Risk and Security: Both can take chances and calculated risks so that there is novelty and adventure in the relationship, and also establish a strong trust that gives rise to a sense of safety.
Activity and Quiet: Periods of intensity, activity, and challenge are followed consistently with periods of restorative calm.
Self-care and Care of Other: They are adept at knowing their needs and negotiating to have them met. They do not make their own needs any more or any less important that their partner’s needs.
To establish a partnership characterized by balance is reaching into the highest realms of well-being. Like the seesaw, we can slide up and down. It is a balancing act that requires intentionality. But it is worth striving for because it’s the most fun you can have in relationship.
Linda and Charlie Bloom are excited to announce the release of their third book, Happily Ever After . . . and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams.
Praise for Happily Ever After:
“Love experts Linda and Charlie shine a bright light, busting the most common myths about relationships. Using real-life examples, they skillfully, provide effective strategies and tools to create and grow a deeply loving and fulfilling long-term connection.” – Arielle Ford, author of Turn You Mate into Your Soulmate
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Bloom, L. (2017). The Ecstasy that Comes with Balance. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationship-skills/2017/04/the-ecstasy-that-comes-with-balance/