Distance is subjective and something of an imaginary construct.
What is the healthiest distance between two people? - How we quantify, qualify, and regulate intimacy.
Our society is built on finite blocks of time wherein maximum intimacy can be reached: one night stands, weekend festivals and conventions, improv classes, group therapy, wellness workshops, sporting events, etc. In turn, are we becoming programmed to only tolerate closeness in managed doses?
"Distance and Space - Two people need to be comfortable with who they are before they can be a full partner to someone else. A partnership works best when both individuals are solid and strong on their own, and look to make a 'better' situation by going together. If the partners are only together to run from something else, or neglect what they need personally, then things simply aren't going to work well. Of course, every individual needs a different amount of space to be content. It could be that the amount you need is to your partner not 'space' but 'separation'. And indeed, sometimes when people look for space they really want to get away from their partner instead of just in towards themselves. Really think about why you want distance, and then talk to your partner about his/her concerns and the whole situation. Hopefully you'll find a compromise!" - lifetips.com
Alex and I have been spending A LOT of time together. My primary objective, upon getting into a relationship was to not lose sight of myself nor let distance grow in my friendships. Sometimes it seems that hand has been forced - by everyone or no one or just the energy of the universe. And as I google 'healthy distance in a relationship' I am wondering how cognizant people even are of setting and maintaining such boundaries.
I run in circles with a lot of codependents and misanthropes. It took me years to accept my own over-reliance and general arms-length approach. Neither side of the scale is great, the goal (as always) is balance and moderation.
For instance - I see my friend Lisa for a chunk of time about once a year. We met in 2007 while working at the Washington Improv Theater. She and I share a great deal in common, core traits and surface interests. We live only a couple miles from each other, we should hang out all the time. Instead we go months. It's a really cool friendship in that regard. I admire her, am always interested in her creative projects, never mean to lost touch but it happens, without fail. I tend to believe this is the nature of "normal" adult friendships. The imposed regulation is needed in the relationships that bear more weight and responsibility (significant others, roommates, family) - these loose friendships seem to regulate themselves.
How does one implement balance, moderation, and healthy boundaries? The internet provides a lot of fluff ("Tune into your feelings." "Give yourself permission.") that has good, applicable intention, however, adults need concrete practicality - guidelines - ways to quantify. This blog entry will fall under the former. But the reason is this: experiencing an emotional connection is diametrically opposed to logical quantifying - this is why singular moments last a lifetime in your mind and you can forget entire years. All you can do is try your best, face fears, remember who and what is important, and if you've put one important thing down too long, pick it back up. Let go of the shoulds. Start over with intention. That's it, because distance is subjective and something of an imaginary construct.