I had written about this some time ago now long since buried in miles of postings below but it’s worth repeating I think. The wisdom holds for any type of relationship.
One of the most insightful things I got from going to therapy was the day we talked about the components of what a relationship is. Brian (my therapist) had said that relationships were comprised of three components, love, sex and companionship and that in a ‘best case’ situation all three of these components, or buckets, would be filled.
Brian acknowledged that it was difficult to keep all three of these buckets filled all the time. Nonetheless, trouble in a relationship started when one of the buckets was less than full. Now each partner has their own buckets to contend with and making matter worse, the fill level on each bucket varies by partner. Finally, Brian denoted that overfilling one bucket did not result in the extra sloshing over into another bucket.
Got the picture? Probably the easiest example is sex. If you and your partner have sex once a week and you want to have it twice a week, well you’re SEX bucket is only 50% full. Unfortunately if your partner only wants it once a week, well their SEX bucket is 100% full and they see no problem. The problem is you have a problem with this and like acid, it slowly works to dissolve the whole relationship.
You can easily imagine other categories, though it’s much more difficult to apply some numerical count value.
Brian denoted that some couples rather than deal with the unfilled bucket problem, attempt to compensate by overfilling one of the other buckets to no avail. Overflow doesn’t wash into the other buckets, much as we’d like it to. Hence couples with sexual problems, tend to try to make up with by being more loving or a better companion. The worse obviously is simply to ignore the problem and hope it goes away.
Many gays have trouble with these three buckets and often seek different person to ‘hold a bucket position’ (I don’t wanna see that one on X-Tube) this ends up bifurcating the whole premise of a spousal type of relationship. Meaning you can’t have a solid relationship with someone if you’re missing some of the elements. Brian indicated this is why his predominately gay practice was always alive with single gay men or couples unhappy with the whole state of their relationship.
I spent a bunch of $$$ on therapy and this one of the most important points I walked away with and you get it for free. BUT WAIT there’s more. 🙂