The concept of affinity is far more fitting in my opinion than the general term relationship or marriage. Because having affinity for someone implies a relationship with a connection born of the common. A bond that is outside of a familial bond, closer to a natural and unforced affiliation and yet far stronger than a casual association.
The actual definition of the word is…
- A relationship by marriage or by ties other than those of blood
- An inherent, likeness, close resemblance or connection
- A natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, or idea
- A person, thing or idea for which a natural liking or attraction is felt
Relationships, like so many things in life, are relative. The inherent “goodness” or “badness” of a relationship is determined by the interpretation of the relationship by two or more people.
Relationships are Simple Right?
You might think that a relationship consists of two parts:
- The other person
But you’d be wrong. Relationships are much more complicated than that, the reality is that there are 6 parts to any relationship between two people:
- How you interpret yourself within the relationship
- How you interpret the other person within the relationship
- The other person
- How the other person interprets themselves within the relationship
- How the other person interprets you within the relationship
The only two items you control completely are the first 2! The third item is partially under your control but is influenced heavily by the actions (or inaction’s) of the other person. The rest are outside of your control, this is a profound concept that you must realize…and more importantly…accept!
Items four and five are completely outside of your control with 6 only being partially in your control, they are controlled by the other person. If you at any point think that you can control another human being with the capability of rational thought, I fear you are in for what is commonly referred to as a “rude awakening”!
If the other person is not capable of rational thought, then it is still a relationship, but is NOT a relationship through or with affinity. Meaning that the other person is a child, handicapped, or dependent upon you in some manner and is incapable of truly escaping your will.
Thinking about it from the perspective outlined, it’s easy to see how the simple concept of a relationship…is anything but simple!
The point is that you may think you have some kind of influence, some kind of control or some kind of hold on another individual. The reality is that you quite simply do not!
Their interpretation of the relationship can change at any moment in time….any moment…and if the paradigm shifts in a way that they no longer view the relationship as being to their benefit, the relationship will quite literally, cease to exist as you know it in that moment.
It happens all the time! That’s why friends drift apart, couples disintegrate and marriages end in divorce.
Affinity and Love
Affinity is one of the most important aspects of true freedom. Romantic relationships based solely on limerence that manifests without affinity (through lust or a sense of obligation for example) are doomed to failure.
That is not to say that even if you share affinity with someone that the relationship will last forever, quite simply a relational bond through affinity and tempered by respect, is likely to last regardless of the evolution of the relationship.
I may have given the impression with my words that a relationship is something that can truly end. That’s really not the case, because like matter, relationships cannot be destroyed. They are simply altered and evolve over time based on the outcomes of actions and inaction’s from one or both sides.
What do I mean? Say that you meet someone and a relationship “happens” (with or without affinity). Over time you create a bond. The months and years go by and the relationship grows as respect deepens and you become closer. Then one day, you walk into a party and you see “your other” and there they are kissing someone else, maybe this “someone” is a mutual friend, maybe not.
One thing is for certain however, at that moment the relationship is suddenly subjected to a paradigm shift. A loss of respect occurs, hurt and betrayal is introduced and the relationship is forever altered.
Should the romantic relationship continue after that, there will always be nagging questions. Should the romantic relationship end, it’s possible that the relationship will evolve to a friendly one…or one of animosity and the intention of perpetual distance.
The relationship still exists. There will always be that “I used to know” and “we used to be”. But if you see them again of course the taint will be there, perhaps more or perhaps less over time, but there nonetheless. So the relationship continues, it’s just in an altered state. Once you “know” someone (whatever that means), you can’t really ever “UN-know” them.
Let’s say for instance that you decide to not “make a big deal” out of it and attempt to pretend it just didn’t happen. Even if your intent is to keep the relationship exactly where it is, if the other person knows you saw their encounter and you do nothing, then the loss of respect will be toward you from them. They now know that they can do anything they want, and you’ll likely be hunky dory with it! As a result, the above relational alteration still likely happens, but will have a different…shall we say, flavor?
Relationships are those things that are constantly in a state of flux, those things that require balance, and hopefully your ledger has more black than red. Nature abhors a vacuum, and if there is too much negative, nature will intervene and adjustments will be made. Ironically if there is nothing but positives, well…mistakes must be made to appreciate the good. Too much positive on one side and someone is often being taken for granted.
One of the more amazing resources I’ve found out there is a book called, “The 5 Love Languages“. The concept, boiled down, is a simple one. You need to be able to speak the particular love language of the person or people that you wish to connect with.
Affinity is about connections, aka relationships. Think about it. If you attempted to connect with someone that only spoke Spanish while you are speaking English, you may be able to…but the goings would be a bit rougher than if you both spoke the same language, get it?
Affinity and Freedom
Affinity is one of the things that you have to understand if you want to be truly free. You have to understand your place within relationships and how they form. You need to understand and work on those aspects of your personality that often gets in the way of your relationships. To attain true freedom, relationships have to be worked at, affinity appreciated, trust developed and more importantly maintained.
Relationships are an ever evolving thing, something to be cherished and enjoyed, not something to posses.
On your road to true freedom, the affinity we experience with those we surround ourselves with is something that must be constantly worked on.
Freedom is a journey, enjoy the trip!