This never really came up in any conversations of mine until recently. Now, it’s come up a few times in the past week or two. So you get some random thoughts of mine on this.
In one way, relationships can be seen as a way to give and get something. What that is isn’t important, and is almost always different from person to perst. The point is that it fills some level of need for us.
Relationships are also contextual. In some relationships, we might go to them for love. Others, we might go to for fun. Others, we might go to for sex. Others, we might go to for deep emotional connection.
What I’ve seen – for myself and others – is that we’re always aiming for some sort of “fullness” through our relationships. As people come and go in our lives, new relationships are sought and formed where we unconsciously seek to maintain that balance.
The different ways we do this are depth and breadth. If you’ve ever noticed, you might find two similarly balanced people, where one has a lot of casual friends and the other might only have a few people close to them but with more intimacy and closeness. This is an example of this distinction.
I don’t think one is better than the other. But I do believe it’s important to know what you really want and where you are. Moving to a new town so many times in the last few years has helped to make this more obvious to me.
For example, I’ve just moved to Boulder and, on one hand, it’s important to me to meet as many people as I can – breadth – as I get settled into this new town. At the same time, I desire connection and intimacy – depth – and it’s been important for me that I develop both.
I’ve met some truly amazing people out here, both casually and deeply, and continue to notice how the balance plays out, both for myself and others as we’re continually looking to reach equilibrium in our fullness.