Intimate Partnerships -- Part 1 -- The Long-Term Strategy
If we think about our whole lives from a long-term perspective, for most of us, our careers, our work in business, is only a part of our lives. What makes up the rest of a well-balanced life? What is the ideal most of us pursue? Most of us want to have a partnership with an intimate other. If we are skilled enough to develop these relationships, they make up another large part of our lives. The final part goes to our family and friends. Notice that the last two form the relationships that shape us. In this series of articles, we will look at how intimacy works in life strategy.
Our business relationships and partnerships tend to be the most short-term. The competitive ground of business is the most dynamic and involves the most other people. It is the ground on which we, as individuals, have the smallest effect. Intimate partnerships are the complementary opposite to business relationships. They should last the longest, only involve two people, and it is the competitive ground on which our choices have the biggest impact.
Is it useful to describe our intimate relationships as competitive ground? Not only is it useful, but viewing them this way is one key to our success. We have to remember what competition truly is. Competition is a comparison, where others position us in their minds. Its goal is improving people’s opinion of us so others will support and reward us rather than oppose us. A “battle” is the critical point at which choices are made about who shares our mission and who does not. The true “battle of the sexes” is fought, not against, with one intimate other, one day at a time, for the success of both together.
We humans naturally arrange our priorities in their order of importance. Aren’t our positions in the minds of our intimate other more important than all our other positions? Don’t we all want those with whom we have our intimate relationships to support us and help and reward us? Doing this requires a long-term strategy.