How much closeness in a relationship is still healthy?


The light seems close, yet it is far in the darkness.

Until it is suffocating, I guess, but how do you know you are not just imagining it? When is close too close? Let us look at some examples.

If by chance the couple read the same book and then talk about it, it is alright, I reckon. But I once heard about a lady who was putting pressure on her partner: ‘We have to read the same books.’ She was enforcing superfluous closeness, in my opinion.

Of course it is very romantic to watch movies together, cuddled up on the couch. But there is also absolutely nothing wrong with a couple, who like different genres and have two TV sets. They can still be kind to one another before and after the movies.

It is hard to define the proper closeness in a relationship, so I tried to capture it in my latest fantasy novel with romance ‘Out of the Forest and into the City‘:

‘As Felix later told me (= Izzy the Dwarf), he was afraid of losing his mind due to his overly intense infatuation. A glass of wine helped him sufficiently relax so as to be able to fall asleep. In his restless sleep he had a most reassuring dream:

He was walking through a magical forest on a fresh cloudy morning with rays of sunlight piercing with bright determination through the greyish-blue clouds. Wherever there was a ray of light resting on the leaves or grass below the trees, he could marvel at the beauty of the dew. The fresh dewdrops were sparkling like pearls around a woman’s neck on a cold Sunday morning. He could spot so many different shades of green that he could hardly believe his eyes. Following a gravel path, he walked past so many sorts of trees and shrubs, ferns, and grass species that he could hardly believe that they were not just a mental fabrication. Gradually the path became narrower and narrower. He glimpsed a smiling dwarf wearing dark green clothes, violet boots, and a black hat with dark violet embroidery. The dwarf’s smile was so angelic that Felix did not have a chance to become scared of a creature he dared to believe didn’t even exist. The smiling dwarf bowed in front of him and made a welcoming gesture with his hand, showing Felix the way from the point where the gravel path came to an end. Felix looked in the direction where the dwarf had indicated. And to his utter surprise, he glimpsed a white lily that had a transparent image of Mary’s face in the center of its blossom. The face smiled the smile of a thousand angels and her delicate lips moved almost invisibly, just enough to utter a verse that became imprinted in Felix’ memory forever:

“Do not come too close, or I shall perish.
And be not too far away, or our love will vanish.”’

I noticed that it is fashionable for couples to wear matching clothes. As long as this is just an occasional little game, it is alright, I believe. To make it a rule, I reckon, it would put too much pressure on the relationship.

Of course we have to look at the opposite extreme too. Many couples grow apart with years. Some barely talk to one another. Maybe it is not a bad thing. Maybe they need ‘space’ as we fashionably call it. It would be sensible, in my opinion, to make it just a period and not a ’till death do us part’ thing. But how to get back the lost closeness after years of silence? It is simple but hard at the same time. Be kind. Make conversation like on the first date. Forgive. Try. It will not always work, but many times we find that if we are forgiving, we will get a similar response.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships
Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

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