Friday, June 30, 2006

Religious differences have a role in marriage

Twenty-three year old Ashley tells Thomas Moore that her 29 year old boyfriend won’t budge or compromise much about religious matters. Each partner comes from a different religious background and she is concerned about her family’s reactions if their relationship deepens. Moore’s response to this Beliefnet question includes,
"For myself, I can’t imagine being in a budge-less marriage. Marriage is all about budging and allowing room for two thoughtful and complicated adults to work out their lives in love and real companionship."
Add your views to the side panel on the Beliefnet site.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Setting boundaries for sharing in a relationship

For Beliefnet, Thomas Moore answers a question about Unsure's boyfriend snooping on her computer. His answer touches on the boundaries of intimacy and the meaning of relationship.

Moore says,
"People intrude on us either because they think they can get away with it or because they assume more intimacy than is warranted."
Then he suggests ways for two people to see themselves together,
"A relationship is made up of two parts: each individual and their life together. If either of these components gets lost, you no longer have a relationship. Some people say a couple is two halves making a whole, but I think it’s two wholes making a loving two. Couples getting married sometimes quote Kahlil Gibran, "And stand together, yet not too near together. For the pillars of the temple stand apart." Or Rainer Maria Rilke, "love is not merging; it is the opportunity for the individual to become something himself." I’d recommend reading Rilke’s letter on love in Letters to a Young Poet. There, he offers many insights into this issue of love and privacy.

I believe that love between two people is having a passionate interest in each other, and yet respecting each other’s mystery. We will never know our partners completely, and that’s the way it should be."
Readers respond with their own experiences and advice to the young woman.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Shyness can be an attractive feature for a man

As one shy person to another, Thomas Moore tells a young man how to relate to his shyness without having it define who he is. A Beliefnet reader describes himself as a 22-year-old virgin with a busy schedule, who would like to expand his social circle. Thomas Moore's response includes,
"Being shy with women can be a big problem, especially when the shyness is extreme. But as you allude in your letter, shyness can also be a strength. There are many ways of being a strong and interesting person, and being shy rather than outgoing is one of them. We shy people — I include myself in this category — can be great companions. We can love and be attentive and enjoy life. In fact, shyness is often just a way of keeping the lid on a powerful love of life and deep desire for sex and companionship. As always, things are often the opposite of what they appear to be."
Readers are invited to contribute their views.