Some where along my life I remember hearing (or reading) that our relationships are like Legos. Some of us have lots of connectors; some only have few. But once our connectors are full, our capacity for close and significant relationships become overloaded. I honestly don’t remember any more that was said, but recently I’ve been thinking, How many connectors do I have? How many can I handle before my connectors are full?
I think that often when we don’t know our limits we can become overloaded in our friendships and try to maintain more than we can emotionally handle.
Once all our connectors are full we can still be friendly, but we can not connect, at least not on any deep emotional level. It’s really impossible because we are already relationally full. I think if we understand this about ourselves it would be most helpful in our relationship with those we come into contact with.
For example, the older I get the more I understand how many women I can connect with on a deep, personal level at a time. To add anyone new will most likely cause a “connector” to overload. I only have so much time and energy to pour consistently and purposefully into other’s lives. To extend myself beyond my ability to connect on a close and significant level will eventually effect the quality of the relationships, including my husband.
A potential problem would be that those coming into my life hoping to develop significant relationships could be disappointed when I don’t meet their expectations. Because I am already at my relational limit so to speak the only way I can make room for another significant relationship is to back away from an existing one.
Backing away does happen naturally but it’s not something you should force. To force the end of a relationship is hurtful and honestly just doesn’t make any sense.
So what should I do if my connectors are full?
I don’t know if it’s maturity or that I am approaching 50 that I have just come to the point that I have to be completely honest. I meet a woman and I sense that she is wanting more from me that I can give I am just honest with her. In most cases she does understand, there are however a few that will be hurt or think I am mean, or whatever. I have even had a few women who just back away and don’t speak to me.
But honestly I think it’s much kinder to be open and honest up front so that if they are looking for a new “BFF”, a kindred spirit, or whatever, they will know that I am probably not the person. My connectors are full.
am have become a firm believer that it is God and God alone that will bring into my life those women who will be close, intentional and deep parts of my life. They will be apart of my life for as long as God allows. I find that it is God that moves those deep relationship in and out of my life. It just happens. I don’t go looking to “drop” my close friends and I don’t go out looking for them either. God adds and takes away as HE sees fit. I wonder sometimes can we trust God in that? I don’t particularly like it when God begins the process of taking away. But history shows me it’s always for my good and when I have a connector that is empty He will bring someone into my life.
Before I end this I just have to say something though for all of us women to think about. When it comes to friendships with women can we just stop acting like little girls? Why is it that if you can’t be a “BFF” with someone that we automatically claim they are cliquish? Or unfriendly? Or stuck up?
Can we just grow up and understand that we all have limited time and emotions? We can be friends. We can talk, meet for coffee from time to time, we can have fun together, but if a persons connectors are full they probably are not going to be your new “BFF”. It will be almost impossible for them to go any deeper into the friendship. And we need to be okay with that. It’s not personal, they are just full.
If they currently at their limit when it comes to relationships don’t take it personally. It’s not that they don’t like you. In fact, most likely they love you. They care deeply about you and will pray for/with you when you ask. But to ask them to add another person they are responsible to (or for) on any kind of deeper level is being unfair to them, and you.
What about you? Do you know what kind of Lego you are? I think I am about a four. For me to have more than four close intimate relationships, including my husband, is just too much for me. To try to have more than that I begin to disappoint those I am connected to.
One final thought. I think there are seasons in our life when our “connectors” really don’t allow for much connecting apart from raising our children, or taking care of a parent. We need to understand not only the season we are in but the season that our friends are in. Understanding the seasons will help us understand why they may not have time to connect with us on any kind of deep level. So instead of getting hurt or upset we need to just love them.
Would love to hear your thoughts!
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