Dynamic Relating part 2

The keys to dynamic relating

Holiday Schedule
There will be two more articles in December—this one,

and a “year end” post on December 21.
We’ll resume publishing January 4th.

dynamic relationship

This article and the previous one are the “Readers’ Digest Version” of a longer piece I just wrote. I think the final product will become an e‑book in the New Year!

A quick description of Hierarchy vs. Circles.


A linear relationship model is also hierarchical. It’s like a ladder on it’s side. Each “step” is considered higher and more advanced that the one before. So, for example, a Committed Relationship is considered more important than a friendship, or a FWB relationship.

Most people think hierarchically. You hear it in the language: They want to keep “advancing the relationship.” Thus, no stage is good enough, and one’s partner is endlessly scrutinized. Rather than acceptance, relationship time is all about looking for flaws, reluctancies, or ways to “move the relationship along.”

The other oddity of any hierarchy is compartmentalization. People are pigeonholed into roles. A mistress is a mistress, and can’t be a wife. A friend is a friend and not a spouse. This is because no one can occupy more than one place or rung on the ladder. The problem, of course, is that the energy and activity of each “slot” is supplanted (and thus “lost,”) the further along you go.


In the circular model, a relationship is how it is, until it isn’t.

In a circular view, (see the diagram at top) things simply exist on a “sphere of influence,” so to speak. Each point in the circle relates to the other points, but not hierarchically—one is not better or higher than another. In trhis model, a Committed Relationship and a FWB relationship are simply two “ways of relating.”

In the circular model, one person can occupy many locations—so, one’s partner is friend, playmate, lover, soul mate and “spouse.”

Each person is pure potential, and can step into any identity, while remaining whole.

In hierarchy, a person is a fixed, locked, and known quantity.

In a circular, dynamic relationship, the person is whole at all times, and is “seen” wearing different outfits, depending on role.

Dynamic Relationships

The key to a dynamic relationship is its flexibility. While it might, superficially, develop through the linear stages of friendship to FWB to Commitment to something else, (including times when playing the “spousal role” suits the social condition,) each stage is simply another building block or aspect of the relationship.

In other words, the playfulness of friendship is there, all the time. The freedom of just bonking (FWB) is available, and allows for the full expression of sexual charge. The commitment aspect is the transformative stage, as it is not the commitment of exclusivity, but rather the commitment to curiosity, personal development, sharing, caring, compassion and concern.

In other words, the commitment is not to a role and to some odd version of sexual exclusivity. It is a commitment to endless self knowing, coupled with a deep commitment to being present for one’s partner’s exploration.

That this is not the norm should be obvious.

As to the Lover / Affair pole, the partner is both. The partner, in addition to possessing a sexual charge, (FWB,) is also the person with whom sexuality becomes sacred, and depth and intimacy become tools for learning.

The dynamic part of the relationship means that the relationship is constantly shifting between positions, depending on the mood, needs, and desires of the partners. The solid core is expressed in IIR.

Intimate, Integrated Relating

It is intimate, in that everything is out in the open, above board, and honestly discussed. It is all about truthfulness, a relaxation of boundaries, clarity, and focus. It is vulnerable, as all feelings are fully felt and shared, without judgement, without trying to get the partner to behave some other way.

Relational Challenges

A friend, Dar and I were talking about the List of 50 (the basis for finding the person she married) and how she had a 72 item list. She said, “My husband was a match for 70 of them. The only thing we ever fight over, are the two I settled for.”

We went on to talk about that at length. We came to the conclusion that any time we compromise, “settle for less,” of fall out of our own belief system or values, there will be a disconnect, and an issue will flare up.

In other words, relational integrity is challenged every time I do not respect, fully, my own values.

Typically, this happens when we are not totally clear on our motivations. Which is why we stress total honesty, while recognizing that it’s difficult. Often, we think we are being honest about what we want, and later, as something flares up, we recognize that we were not exactly speaking our truth. Most likely, one or both of us was trying to soft peddle something, or to say it so as to disguise our real intent.

By the way, there is nothing wrong about, as my friend did, “settling” for one or two things in a relationship. The important piece to remember, however, is that this difference of opinion over “whatever” will occur and re-occur over the course of the relationship. The different perspective will emerge, and in a sense you get to debate it and look at it, again and again.

And, in our world, agree to disagree, without assigning blame, without trying to declare a winner.

Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Go to the top of this article, click on the title, and leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

1 thought on “Dynamic Relating part 2”

  1. Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so, Excellent post!


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