The Relationships Arena
The Search for Intimacy
“"There is only one kind of love,
but there are a thousand imitations."
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld.
LiveReal has four main four arenas: body, mind, heart and soul.
This one (as you’ve probably guessed) is about those intimate yet mysterious, exhilarating yet maddening, challenging yet crucial aspects of our lives: our personal relationships.
To search for the truth* about relationships, and share what we find. It’s the search for intimacy (in a world that seems determined to keep us apart and at odds.)
To help you, as someone (presumably) interested in having relationships that are whatever the opposite of “dysfunctional” is (“functional” doesn’t cut it – we’re aiming higher than that. Is “superfunctional” a word?) – to help you get the most practical high-caliber insights that modern science, ancient wisdom, your wise old Aunt Fanny and everything in between has to offer.
So…you want to wise up about relationships. You want to get smarter, take control, not settle, understand more. You don’t want to kiss too many frogs, waste time with too many fish in the sea, or look for love in all the wrong places. You don’t want to wait around hoping to get “lucky in love” – you’d rather create your own luck. (“The harder you work, the luckier you get” kind of thing.)
In other words, you’re being smart about it.
So, what are you up against?
For starters, there’s…well, nearly the entire world these days.
Relationships are dramatically different than they used to be. And in some serious ways, much more challenging.
Let’s take just dating and marriage in modern times.
For some folks, the experience of setting forth into the world of dating or marriage is something like starting a long journey without a map, a compass, or a clear idea of where exactly they're heading or why. Enthusiasm, good intentions and raging hormones only get you so far. And those might just put you deep in the woods with a dry canteen and blisters.
Nobody starts out expecting divorce, heartbreak, or long, intimate nights with pints of Haazen Daas. But when we spend more time researching which cell phone to buy than trying to understand the inner workings of our own intimate relationships, sometimes we can wind up without the “relationship smarts” or tools we need to navigate our way to the love, bonding, togetherness, intimacy, affection we crave.
And as if that wasn’t enough, sometimes we can be our own worst enemies.
Luckily, none of us are trying to perform some crazy, pioneering, never-been-done-before experiment for the very first time.
Billions of other people – including some really smart ones – have also worked on this problem of understanding relationships before us. (Some are still working on it right now, at this very moment.)
And they’ve left a few tips (tools, tricks, hacks, wisdom-nuggets) that we can discover to put to use in our own lives. (And folks are discovering more all the time.)
After all, why reinvent the wheel?
Why learn the hard way?
Why not save ourselves some trouble and learn from their mistakes instead of solely our own?
If we were trying to build a bridge or try some brain surgery, wouldn’t it make sense to, you know, at least check in with some folks who have done it a few times before?
And aren’t relationships as difficult as bridge-building or ear surgery? (We need a longer conversation here, but at least in some ways…Yes. A good conversation for another time.)
With that in mind, our strategy here is to search the world over (translation: “dig through a lot of bull”) on a quest to discover hidden but precious nuggets of practical wisdom.
Then we dig those nuggets up, gather them here, sort the real from the phony as best we can, and present them to you in a way that’s as clear, simple, and no-nonsense as possible.
Then, debate usually ensues.
From there we regroup, re-think and refine, test, listen, gather feedback, and test again. We work on applying this to our actual lives.
From there, we keep what works – what really succeeds in the “intimacy” thing – and leave the rest.
Then we head out again.
So Let’s Go Exploring.
Our wooly, uncharted jungle explorations so far have yielded a few nuggets that have passed our sniff test. Out of a lot of haystacks in the world, we’re found a few needles that we think are worth passing on.
Now it’s time to set out.
Ready to go?
"It is a serious thing to live in a world of possible gods and goddesses,
to realize that the dullest person you meet
may one day be something
which, if you saw it now,
you would be strongly tempted to worship;
or else a horror and a corruption which you meet now only in a nightmare.
All day long we are helping each other
to one or the other of these two destinations..."
- C. S. Lewis
* Yes, we’re familiar with the postmodern “there is no such thing as truth” bit. We just don’t buy it.