All of my grammar aficionados know that there is a difference between “apart” and “a part”. However, I think this is something that we need to apply to relationships as well.
According to wikianswers.com:
apart – to be away; separate
a part – to be together; part of
What does this mean in the context of a relationship?
I’m glad you asked…
One day I found myself thinking about the guy that I was dating. I was thinking about the role that I played in his life and found myself happy to be a part of his life. Then I started to really think about our relationship. Was I really part of his life or was I a separate part of his life?
Some people in relationships don’t realize that they are apart of that person’s life. A separate part of their life. Although you may spend time with them, go out on dates, do stuff together; you are still not part of their life. You don’t get invited to family events, you didn’t get asked to go to the company picnic… you are a separate part of that person’s life.
Why does this matter? It is important because if you have plans for a future together, you should be a part of the their life, you should be included in the events of their life, you should not be a separate component. Please don’t take this to the extreme and try to insert yourself into every area of your partner’s life but consider how often you are included in activities that don’t just involve the two of you or your family/friends.
Initially, you may both value your separate spaces and want to hold off introducing the other to the people in your life because you want to be sure that they are someone who will be around, for a while. This is wise. However, don’t get stuck in that trap because at some point you want to become included and you want to include them. If you find yourself with someone for an extended period (I would say six months or more but that’s just me) and you have never met or interacted with any of their family or friends… that may be a red flag.
What do you do? Talk to the person. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching the subject that is a whole other issue that we need to discuss later. You should simply point out that you have never met or spent any time with anyone else in their life. It is possible that they may not have realized that they have been keeping you as a separate part of their life and will make plans to begin including you. Just don’t fall for those tired and lame excuses like “my family is crazy and I don’t want to subject you to all of that” or “I don’t really have any friends.” Those are excuses and a sign that the person may not be as committed to you as you thought.
We often find ourselves in situations that we call relationships when they really aren’t. We invest valuable time in people who have no genuine desire to give us a return on that investment. Sometimes all it takes to figure out what’s really going on is to pay attention to the signs and ask questions.
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