Still thinking about 2015 . . . possibilities . . . directions . . .
In the course of my life I’ve seen a particular thing happen a number of times. It goes like this.
I meet a person, we get to know each other, and they become a dear friend. We talk, we go for walks, we explore each other’s s0ul territory, it’s enriching and quite wonderful.
Then they get married. They still want to meet up. BUT they want it to be as a foursome – I bring my spouse, they bring their spouse. Or their newly acquired children. Or the whole family.
This doesn’t work for me. The dynamic changes. Instead of adding enrichment and getting even more lovely, nobody is anybody in these group meetings. It just becomes polite socializing, draining. The truth stops, the souls are withheld, only the bodies are there – in their smart-casual clothes at their carefully chosen venues.
Getting to know step-family or in-laws can manifest the same difficulty – meeting only in group settings can amount to never meeting at all.
This doesn’t apply to all groups. For example, we have a Theology Group that meets at our house every 2nd Friday of the month. Someone (any one of the group who volunteers) gives a paper about some aspect of life and faith they’re interested in, and we discuss it. The group is not for the promotion of orthodoxy and conventional thinking, but for the honest exploration of matters of belief we really care about and wonder about, wanting to dig deeper. It’s meant to be a group.
Likewise, some friendships in my life have been me + hubby as a couple, with another couple we’ve met – and that has worked happily and well.
It’s when a one-on-one friendship is subsumed into coupledom, or when the dynamic of the group prevents the real things inside each soul from being brought into the light, that the whole thing becomes an uncomfortable waste of time.
So my suggestion for you in 2015 is – when you meet up, consider going alone.