Preliminaries in Love

A few months ago I came across an article I found intriguing. It was based around a survey of how stress affects sex life – but that wasn’t the interesting bit for me. What grabbed my attention were the tables contained within. I’m looking at the stage before we even get to love; how we practice rejection of those who don’t fit our criteria.

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Silence as an act of aggression

Silence can be violent. I’m not sure what that means for those who are fond of meditating or those who preach of silence being golden, or even if it means anything at all. The silence I refer to here is that which takes place after a fight, or instead of an argument – the stuff that occurs on an interpersonal level. Anyone can find themselves in the position of being convinced there’s just no point in talking to a significant other. Maybe you’ve said what needed to be said two or three times already and nothing changes, so you stop communicating anything of importance. If you’ve tried everything from dropping subtle hints to having a full-blown screaming fit and got nowhere, you might give them the silent treatment instead. To deny communication would be an effective way to send a message to the other person’s psyche that says you are nothing to me. If we’ve tried to express something we consider important to us because we need something to change and our observations are met with dismissal or hostility we’re likely to take the other person’s reaction personally. We hear you’re not important enough for me to change this situation even though I have the power to do so. When this happens we have two immediate choices; we can put up and shut up, or we can leave. Ironically, shutting up is one sure way of ensuring the demise of the relationship. Does this not spell the beginning of the end of the intimacy? Or do we commit psychic suicide and allow a part of us to die off inside instead?

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