Skewing the entire “structure” creates distance between partners or leads to co-dependency.
Imagine that your relationship is a house. By the way, if you are still looking for a strong relationship eden christian dating apps will help you with it. So, the house can’t be built without several vital elements that are needed not only to make you feel comfortable but also to survive any bad weather. It’s logical to start building with a strong foundation, which you and your partner build together brick by brick through shared experience and emotional connection. And then your “house” will need walls and windows.
What are “windows” and “walls” in a relationship?
The concept of “windows” and “walls” was suggested by psychologist Shirley Glass in her book “Not Just Friends.” She used this metaphor to describe how two emotionally involved people in a relationship can maintain intimacy.
If the relationship is a house, the partners are in two adjoining rooms separated by a floor-to-ceiling “window.” It symbolizes open communication in the couple and creates a condition of complete transparency where everyone feels seen and heard. And the “walls” are a buffer that separates and protects the relationship from the outside world.
Why it’s important to create “windows” and “walls”?
“Windows” allow two people to stay on the same page, understand each other’s inner worlds, and clarify expectations, feelings, and desires. Open communication allows you to immediately identify even the smallest problems and solve them before they turn into a huge snowball that risks bringing the “house” down.
For everyone to feel comfortable sharing intimate thoughts and feelings through the “window,” “walls” are needed. They create a private and confidential atmosphere. Without them, the relationship loses its protection. Imagine your partner ignoring your feelings and inviting other people to visit you all the time without warning. Such indifference destroys “walls” and threatens the sanctity of the romantic union.
Conversely, when there is a protective dome around the relationship and both partners maintain it, there is a sense of emotional security. It makes the inner “walls” disappear and makes it possible to build the very “window” in their place.
As the sense of emotional security in the relationship strengthens, we become much more comfortable talking about our inner world and discussing problems. When we feel secure, we can listen, empathize, be resourceful in problem-solving, and open up on a deeper level. All of this strengthens the foundation of relationships. If you are still looking for a strong relationship see this
However, this does not mean that the “walls” between the relationship and the world around us must be impenetrable. There should be “windows” in them, too. Just like in a real house, the air becomes stale if the room is not ventilated for a long time. “Air” in relationships is friends, hobbies, and work. The important thing is that the connection to the outside environment does not outweigh or harm the connection to the partner. After all, we always close the windows when it’s raining or snowing outside.
If you allow the “walls” around the relationship to collapse and become “windows,” the “window” between partners, on the contrary, will become a “wall. For example, you work all day and don’t devote time to your relationship at all, or you share details of your personal life with friends, family members, or co-workers. In this way you open a “window” to the outside world and close it to a partner who no longer finds a connection with you. Over time, this situation can open the door to infidelity.
How to keep the “window” between partners?
To do this, you need to go back to the basics of the relationship, which includes meeting your partner’s basic needs. Among these is the desire to feel loved, appreciated, heard, accepted, and supported.
It is possible to provide all of this every day without much effort. For example, giving your partner your undivided attention during a conversation and not looking furtively into the phone. Ask questions, so he understands that he is being listened to attentively. Respect his opinion, so that he feels valued. Take his side in conversations with third parties so he feels supported.
Such small steps make sure that the “window” between partners does not turn into a “wall. Remember, one person’s openness disposes the other to the same behavior. If you want your partner to freely share his or her inner world with you, be willing to share yours.
How to maintain “walls” around the relationship?
Having strong “walls” doesn’t mean that partners can’t live an eventful life outside the relationship. The point is to maintain a balance without compromising the union.
Each couple establishes its own balance of time spent together and apart. The main thing is to come to a consensus on the degree of connection and freedom allowed in the relationship. It’s best to ask your partner directly if he or she gets enough of your time and energy. Some retain a sense of intimacy, even when the partner pays a lot of attention to friends, work, or hobbies. And someone, on the contrary, strains too much time spent separately.
There are no universal rules. You and your partner need to come up with your own together. For example, you can decide that Friday is the day that you arrange a date. Then no one will plan anything for Friday and thus maintain the “wall” between the relationship and the external environment. And if something important does come up, you can always consult with your partner beforehand.
Of course, life will make its adjustments: perhaps some rules will not always be followed, or you will give up on them over time. But a certain system will help divide the responsibility for maintaining the “walls” equally, rather than placing it on the shoulders of one person.
The balance between “windows” and “walls” in a relationship depends on what needs are met in the “home” and what needs are met outside of it. If we find what we need outside the relationship, we become too independent and estranged from our partner. Meeting needs solely within the relationship, on the contrary, leads to co-dependency.
The best option is to keep the inner “window” open and not make the outer “walls” completely impenetrable. This way you maintain intimacy without overdependence on each other and come to a so-called interdependence that allows us to express love without sacrificing ourselves, and to receive love without seeing it as proof of our worth.