Non-identifying relationships are an easy to miss detail. I know this because when I ask people what their relationship is, the vast majority of them respond that it is “just a boyfriend or girlfriend.” The “just a boyfriend” response is actually a very common response in the U.S. because it is very common to hear someone say, “I just love him/her.” Non-identifying relationships are much more difficult to understand and define.
Non-identifying relationships are typically defined as two people who don’t share significant other. This is a bit of a misnomer, because in reality, many people who aren’t romantically involved with other people, still have significant other. The two people involved in a non-romantic non-identifying relationship are not even close to being lovers. They are on the same side, in a support role, and they have a common goal.
Relationships are defined in a very similar way, but the differences are more subtle. In short, in non-romantic non-identifying relationships, there is always this feeling of being on the other side, that being the other person is something we want but don’t actually feel like we’re getting.
That’s a generalization, of course, but even on the most superficial level, the feeling of being on the other side can be very real. If you’re looking for love, its like pulling off an impossible task, and you don’t know if you’ll ever get it. On the other hand, even the most superficial non-romantic-n-identifying relationship is more complicated than that.
The question is, is it real or is it just a feeling? Even though we often do the most obvious thing, even if it is the right thing, sometimes it will seem so intangible, so nebulous, that we don’t feel like we are. It’s like a feeling that is there, but we have no idea what it is. We feel that we don’t really know what we are doing.
As a friend of mine once said, “it’s the difference between being honest and being a liar.” Because you are being honest with yourself, you are also being truthful with another person. But, the opposite is also true. You are being honest with yourself in that you want to be honest with the other person, but are being dishonest because you are not.
It’s a common phenomenon that I see all the time: A friend or relative of mine who is honest with himself or herself will also be honest with the people in his life. For instance, an honest friend of mine will be honest with his ex-girlfriend, or his siblings, etc. But, an honest friend of mine who is not honest with himself or herself will also be a lying friend of mine. If you are a liar to yourself, you are also a liar to other people.
If you are a liar to yourself, you are also a liar to other people. This has a lot to do with the importance of self-awareness. If you are a liar to yourself, you are likely to repeat it to other people. But, if you are not aware that you are a liar, your actions and habits can change so that you do not notice.
The goal of the game is to be the most powerful version of yourself. That’s not a simple trick, but it’s a very challenging one.
The trick is being aware of your own lies. If you are not, you are less likely to notice when you are lying to other people. This is something that I think we all need to be aware of. If you are not, you are more likely to keep repeating your lies when other people, or people you know, are looking.