Four questions: How do they find each other? What happens when they do? How do they develop this relationship? How do they keep it vibrant and alive for so many years with an energy that is almost palpable when the couple enters the room?
Having been on the sidelines watching thousands of couples, my observation is that the few that bear the hallmarks of “creative couples” distinguish themselves from others when it comes to answering these four questions.
MEETING: Never do they go in search of a “soul mate”. For the most part, they are not ‘searching’ when they meet the other.
Most commonly, the two have known each other for some time, often in some other capacity in which pre-existing boundaries existed for at least one or the other. Even at this early stage of knowing the other, one of them usually has a sense of being fascinated or being drawn to the other. This "fascination" takes the form of an admiration for some spiritual, intellectual, or creative capacity that one sees in the other.
More uncommon, is a chance meeting which defies statistical odds; a chance meeting in which many variables all had to fall into place for this meeting to occur. Often, I find myself asking the couple, “What are the statistical odds of the two ended up at the same point in time and space?”
THE SHIFT: For couples, in which the parties have known each other for some time, there comes a point in which the relationship suddenly makes a turn. The couple seems to shift their focus from being side-by-side focused on some joint, common interest, to facing each other, and beginning some dialogue on shared personal lives and feelings.
Once this shift transpires, the relationship takes on degree of familiarity and intimacy in seemingly short order, as if the relationship has been one that has been resumed by two individuals who had previously been friends.
The two people often comment about their early physical intimacy as the experience of "coming home" to the place that they have been seeking. "This is home."
EARLY RELATIONSHIP PATTERNS:
Couples usually report that at the beginning of their relationship is marked by continuous, long spans of time together in which there is nearly continuous dialogue. There is a sense of fusion, with little separation.
At three months into the relationship, if you were to ask the couple, "How long does it seem the two of you have actually been together?" they would both agree, that it seems much, much longer than the three months they have been together. This significant distortion of time is one of the hallmarks of these couples.
Rather than this relationship existing simply for the enjoyment and happiness of these two individuals, creative couples often find that their relationship remains most vital when several of the following occur:
- Each of the parties must continue their own spiritual, psychological, and creative development.
- The relationship is seen as an arena in which each presses the other to be the best they can be. Each feels that they are better with the other’s presence, encouragement, challenges and support than they could be on their own.
- Most importantly, this relationship must serve some function outside of its own self-interest in order to remain vital and true to the gift and the mandated mission of the relationship.
The blog posts on creative couples has been an idea that has been in my mind for over a decade. I write this knowing that it will articulate, and thus validate, some of the feelings and notions of the many creative couples who currently are in these relationships.