Shyness, Comfort Zones, & The Relationship Triad Theory


I’m naturally shy. True story. I’m also introverted. Yesterday I went to an art museum by myself to collect whatever sanity I lost this past week. The sanity got lost when I got mad at myself for being shy around C earlier in the week.

    In my defense, I guess I expected way too much. Despite all the intense training I’ve put myself through recently on detecting and minimizing ego, it pokes it’s ugly head out every now and then. So here I was almost expecting for another person to pull me out of my shyness. It’s ironic that here I was expecting someone to do what I’ve been trying to do for myself for a long time. Anyway, the lack of expected reaction by him made me realize something interesting: I’m most comfortable when I can take off my Extrovert hat once in awhile, while knowing that someone will be able to pick up that slack for me. A person can wear many different hats. But no one can ever wear the same one completely and neglect the other hats. That said, I need space to be introverted, as well as the comfort in knowing someone can wear the extrovert hat for awhile.

Now, the Relationship Triad Theory. I’ve come to sum up the common reasons why relationships either start or dwindle. The main 3: proximity, effort, patience. “But don’t you need love and attraction?” Yes, but those come after the Triad. The triad is the most basic set of prerequisites of ANYTHING that makes a relationship. Without any one of the three, it’s Friend-Zone Central.

For example: you start seeing a guy, and he seems awesome (funny, laid back, open-minded), he’s PATIENT with your klutzy ways, and lives CLOSE by, but never answers his phone, doesn’t see how you’re doing, and seems to make you make all the plans. Where’s the effort on his part?

Can you see the problem? Nothing further than friends has a chance to grow. It’s like watering a plant, giving it sunlight, and wrapping it with plastic wrap. No oxygen.

Next example: you meet this girl, and her eyes light you up in ways you never imagined. She comes to your shows, asks about your day, and makes an EFFORT. She also UNDERSTANDS that you’re busy with school a lot of the time. But she lives in another STATE, and was only visiting for the year.

Final example: You and this guy have this great connection, tons of things in common, and similar passions and hobbies. He MAKES PLANS to hang out in creative ways, PICKS YOU up from your place, but doesn’t seem to want to move as fast as you’d prefer. You get IMPATIENT at his supposed “beating-around-the-bush” to ask you out, and you decide that maybe he isn’t that serious about you, so you decide to see someone else. This is all without knowing the truth that maybe this guy was just a tad bit slower in relationships than you. It’s not that he doesn’t care about you, it’s that he doesn’t move as fast you do. This example lack PATIENCE by the girl this time.
Are you seeing the trend?

Proximity+Effort+Patience=foundation for possible relationship.
Take one out and you’re going the right way to being Friend-zoned.
Sorry gals and bros, just keepin it real.


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