Exploring 5 less-discussed relationship dynamics
Image: The HK Photo Company | UnsplashThese dark and light relationship elements are gathered from directly exploring my own long-term relationships and their hidden patterns and processes.
by Alex White


"My intention is to spark curiosity and conversation. It is important to investigate our relationship dynamics, so that we can feel clear and confident in our current or future partnerships."
1 – Sunk cost biasStick by stick, stack, stack.
Surely effort will pay off…
Or a house of cards?
This investment term describes where individuals stick with a decision due to their high irrevocable input costs (time, effort or money) even though these costs greatly outweigh any current benefit to them. It may seem cold to view relationships as investments, however if you’re in a situation where you’ve sacrificed years of your life into a ‘low yield’ relationship it is sometimes hard to extract yourself efficiently due to this bias. You may want the investment to ‘pay off’ someday, however sometimes it’s best to ‘cut your losses’ and run.
2 – Intermittent reinforcementMil by mil, drip, drop.
Elixir healing old wounds…
Could it be poison?
This investment term describes where individuals stick with a decision due to their high irrevocable input costs (time, effort or money) even though these costs greatly outweigh any current benefit to them. It may seem cold to view relationships as investments, however if you’re in a situation where you’ve sacrificed years of your life into a ‘low yield’ relationship it is sometimes hard to extract yourself efficiently due to this bias.

You may want the investment to ‘pay off’ someday, however sometimes it’s best to ‘cut your losses’ and run.
3 – Trauma titrationRush, rush, crack it open.
Mending of a broken heart.
It can be gentle.
Many new age therapies or transformational modalities encourage a ‘crack it open’ philosophy whereby the participant pushes, forces, and rushes towards a breakthrough: Facing their fears. Jumping into new things, or processing decades of history in a day.

This can easily lead to re-traumatisation. After the initial flush of emotions has left the body, one is left to pick up the shattered pieces of the unprocessed experience.

A more healthy and safe approach can be to titrate the experience over time, layer by layer, drop by drop, allowing the body and mind to slowly unwind years or decades of material.

This approach has little chance of re-traumatisation and usually leaves the participant feeling confident that change is complete, embodied, and long lasting.
Image: Alex White4 – EasefulnessThen a chance to change.
Slow at first, they play with you.
This is so easeful!
Healthy relationships can feel like a great dance, an effortless conversation, or timeless play. Many people will take on new partners with potential and try to fix things that don’t currently work for them.

Alternatively, some partners may put on a show to attract a mate. This is often short term thinking. Generally it is better to be who you are from the start and see whether there is a feeling of easefulness shared between you. It’s either easy or it’s not.

You can either flowingly dance together, or not. It is well worth seeing whether you can easily play with a new partner, as this ability to play could determine the longevity of your relationship.
5 – Flow of lifeAs if from slumber
My body wakes and rises.
Hips, lips, ALL of it.
And finally, can you flow together? Can you let go to what is happening in the present moment and paradoxically feel supported by trusting in the process of surrender? Does your body become enlivened in their presence, or do you feel weakened / depleted from your interactions? An experience of flow within relationship can have you feeling replenished, rejuvenated, and ready to face anything, individually or together. Perhaps some days your flow is less fluid. A healthy relationship will find a way to flow into the next day, and next stage of life.

These are all simple words from my specific slice of the human relating experience. Do any phrases stand out for you? Do they cause concern? Or leave you feeling confident? If nothing else I hope they support you in having open and interesting conversations with your partner, and I wish to spark aliveness in your relating.
Image: Alex WhiteAbout the author:
A student of life, love, and solo parenting. Living on the Gippsland coast, creating spaces for people to relax, get creative and let go by immersing themselves in nature connection experiences.
www.alexwhite.com.au
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