While zero negativity in the Space Between is the fastest way forward, it seems to be the most difficult piece of the puzzle for couples to master. Why? I think because to a large extent, the negativity is unconscious. If a couple has been together for 5 or 10 years, they probably have built up some bad habits. Fair enough. But I think it goes back even further, to the first 18 years of life. Many of us did grow up in households where there was negativity and criticism, or where our parents didn’t handle the Space Between well. Our culture can be pretty negative and critical too and we just think that is normal. But when we bring negative and critical interactions into the Space Between, they cause disconnect.
Zero Negativity in the Romantic Love Stage
In the Romantic love stage of a relationship the Space Between is generally pretty positive. The relationship is new, fun, romantic and folks are on their best behaviour. Then, over time, and I believe it is small things, begin to surface. With every snide remark, criticism, eye rolling or shutting down, slowly (or quickly), the Space Between becomes more negative. If these behaviours go forward unabated the Space Between becomes more and more negative and people start to avoid. Who wants to go into a toxic space?
What Quantum Theory is telling us is, that at our most basic level, connecting is our essence. An intimate relationship is an important place for that to take place. Nevertheless, putting negativity into the Space Between, causes disconnect rather than connection.
The key to moving forward is to make the unconscious, conscious. Remember, it is the person on the receiving end who determines if a transaction is negative or not. The trick then, is to let your partner know something didn’t work and redo the transaction. The challenge is to do that without making your partner even more defensive or on guard. Couples have to agree on a word or signal or some way to let each other know a particular interaction was received as negative and then to redo the transaction ASAP in a way that doesn’t produce a put down.
Negativity Shows Up
How, for example, might this show up in a relationship? Suppose one partner tends to be loud; something they learned in their family of origin. If the other partner interprets the loudness as aggression, then their reactive response might be to shut down or get upset. The problem, of course, is that at times the loudness, in the past, has been a form of aggression. By consciously working together towards zero negativity, if partner A interprets the loudness of B as aggressive A can indicate to B (by a signal they have both agreed to beforehand) that it feels negative. B then can either explain he or she didn’t mean it aggressively, or apologize or redo the transaction so that it doesn’t come across as negative.
The point is to decide beforehand on a signal or word that lets your partner know that something didn’t work and then redo the transaction ASAP. The goal is to get to a point where there is zero negativity going into the Space Between and on the flip side, you are refilling the Space Between with positive energy.