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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Relationship term meanings - not the Webster Dictionary version.

In discussing relationships with friends, I have used and heard the term settling to describe prior relationships.  I've always felt with the concept of 'settling' that I needed to make a disclaimer.   Namely, that one party is not better than the other person.   In any case, that word can have such an insulting connotation.   

In a separate discussion one time, a friend was telling me his own relationship issues and the term "drifting apart" came to mind.  It occurred to me that that is such a vague term.  


The upshot of those two points is that I felt a blog post coming on. This is a post which I attempt to define/divine the meaning of terms to describe relationships--including small 'r' ones.  These definitions are not your Webster Dictionary clinical type definitions, but what I consider real life definitions.  Anyway, here are a list of 10 terms which I am attempting to divine.  Each person's list may vary.


Settling: Accepting too much of mismatch.  Could be a weak connection, too few interests, being at different stages in life/recovery, etc.  Really, it applies to both partners.  They are accepting/holding onto a situation that is not right for them.  Doesn't mean specifically that either one is 'better' than the other, just they are at different places.

Connection: A deep sense of being on the same page, being able to finish each other's thoughts and sentences.  Sharing or having compatible goals.  In a phrase, being in-tune or in-touch with the other.

Drifting apart: Gradually losing that sense of connection.

Codependent: Too reliant on another person for your sense of contentment.   This is sometimes very subtle to detect.  Obviously in relationships, especially marriage ones with kids, each partner will to an extent rely on the other.   Similarly, in relationships, if it is a healthy one, each partner will bring out (vs. create)  happiness or contentment in the other.  The question is really can you be relatively happy either way.  That is to say, you don't need the relationship to 'fix' yourself.

I'm Fine: It means I'm not fine, but I'm just saying it for one or both of two reasons.  1) Because I don't think you'll understand me anyway.  2) I'm hoping you'll get that I'm not really fine and figure it out without me having to explain it.

Distant: Having drifted apart, connection being strained.

Close: Having a deep connection.


Good Listener: Someone who is more interested in paying attention to you and not trying to prove that they are listening or humoring you while they wait to gain the floor for their words.

Safe: Someone who is not likely to hurt you or break your heart.  Safe often is mistaken for 'boring'.  It can be, but doesn't have to be.  It just means the person is a loyal friend who never have to worry.

Needy:  Also known as too codependent.  Can be a term used by one partner who is distant to the other partner.  Using this term allows the distant partner to push back against the other person's relationship needs.  It can truly apply, but it also can be abused.

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I could go on forever, but I think 10 is a nice round number.  In any case, feel free to give your own meanings to these and other relationship terms.  Enjoy.