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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %KIND LEVEL INTIMATE RELATION EXCLUSIVE TIME LIMIT 950403 Each person has only so much time and energy to invest in intimate personal relationships---so it is possible to saturate ourselves in intimate personal relationships. It is dishonest to attempt to be involved beyond our levels of saturation. Attempts to exceed our levels of saturation lead to unhealthy intimate relationships. It is useful to describe what we have found about levels of saturation in intimate personal relationships. It is not always useful to prescribe what should be done in regards to levels of saturation in intimate personal relationships. Yet often people try to prescribe what should be done in regards to levels of saturation in intimate personal relationships---usually in terms of exclusivity, levels and kinds of intimacy, and the number of interacting intimate others. Such prescriptions are applied to: self, intimate-others, and yet other strangers who are non-intimate-others. People who are prone to be preoccupied with, even if not fixated upon such prescriptions, are often preoccupied with issues of control, management, and prescribing-life styles. In the above regards it is useful to note that: Descriptions are often helpful in situations where prescriptions are not helpful. Descriptions of occasions of saturation of intimacy can be helpful---when prescriptions regarding saturation of intimacy cannot be helpful. Different people have different levels of saturation in regards to intimate personal relationships. Circumstances which constitute intimacy-saturation for one person will not necessarily constitute intimacy-saturation for another person or relationship. People who are dedicated to the principle of exclusivity in intimate relationships cannot enter into multiple parallel relationships of any level of intimacy; and are often troubled by being in the presence of other people who together enjoy entering into multiple parallel intimate relationships of various kinds. We need to learn how to describe in helpful ways under what circumstances people of different kinds find that they reach their saturation points in regards to various kinds of intimacy. Attempting to go beyond saturation levels in various kinds of intimacy can lead to tragic consequences---because often such attempts entail denials of human limits and limitations. Dishonesty about saturation points in intimate human relationships undermines the integrative possibilities of human relationships. People who are dishonest about levels of saturation in people's intimate relationships do not promote personal and communal integrity. Such dishonesty may entail trying to exceed their own levels of intimacy-saturation or may interfering with other people's intimate relationships which exceed their own levels of saturation; but which do not exceed intimacy-saturation for the people who are directly involved in the "offending" intimate relationships. The disintegrative consequences of people's intruding into other people's intimate relationships are greatest when the intruders are preoccupied with prescriptions which are not based upon many open and honest descriptions; but rather are arbitrary, capricious, prejudicial and/or mean spirited. In the absence of a history of open and honest descriptions of the contexts and consequences of attempting to exceed various saturation levels of various kinds of people in various kinds of intimate relationships---prescriptions are rarely wise, helpful or integrative. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================