Thursday, October 1, 2009

Couples and Train Couplings

How often do we know a friend who eventually meets someone and becomes a part of a couple? Do you think that their identity has somehow changed because they are now with another person? How do you view couples… as a whole— or as the sum of their parts? These are the kinds of questions that I have pondered when my friends have met someone— as well as when I myself got married. I came up with a theory which explains how people can still be identified as both an individual as well as a couple— and relate that theory to being a couple with someone else.

I like to think of the two people in a couple as being like two train cars linked together. Each is separate in themselves. In this way both people can be viewed as independent of one another because they are both train cars— as well as a train of two cars that are linked together. They are not fused together when they are attached to one another— but rather are connected through a coupling.

I was unable to find a picture of train couplings that best represented what I want to show, so I will ask you to cup your hands and interlock them instead. If you look at your hands you will notice that both look the same. When they are coupled together they move and flex with each passing movement. In this way you can consider the connection as one that helps keep the couple together no matter what may be happening to either car. One car may be slow which puts strain on the coupling— but the couple still remains strong and the train is still held together.

Trains go along a track. This track can be considered the path in which the couple takes together. Many trains do not always go in one direction— but can go in either direction depending on the destination. The engine of the train can be considered the influences and challenges of life that push and pull us towards that unknown destination.

There are times when you need to be pushed, and there are times when you need to be pulled along. Going through the influences and challenges in life can sometimes feel like you are going up a steep grade. Having someone there to help you up that grade is what keeps the train moving. Even if you are moving up a switchback on a mountain where you are pulling or pushing one minute, then being pulled or pushed the next is what makes couples so strong when going up that mountain.

Today I am also posting at In The Real World Venus vs. Mars. If you would like a good example of a challenge for a couple, please read my post Why Be Shy. Enjoy…


Mike said...

I thought that train couplings were people who hooked up and had sex on a train! LMAO!

Wendyburd1 said...

A lot of my friends change when they are part of a couple. Not 2 linked cars, ONE car. I hate that I admit. I want to still have my friend! Sure I am happy they found that special someone but do they have to be joined at the hip and even when you make "just the girls" plans, do they have to show up with their hubby and ask in front of him, is it okay if he stays?!! Agghhh!!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I definitely think of them as independents because many times the caboose, may just be that --a caboose.

Jim Styro said...

Like otin, I guess I envisioned a different angle to this whole post. I mean, after the Brazilian thing, can you blame me?

In more direct answer to the questions raised by your post: I think that how I view different couples in my life varies a great deal. Some couples, I almost always see together; others, I may only spend time with one party or the other. I guess I feel that, in the same way every person is unique, every couple is unique as well.

I think the biggest hurdle whenever a new person is introduced into the mix is to not make any snap judgements about the situation. People are often quick to form opinions about others - and it can severely strain long-standing relationships when we react to new people as a threat to old friendships. If we truly respect the opinions and judgement of an old friend, shouldn't we try to understand what they find interesting and worthwhile about the new person in their life?

I should also say that I liked your whole "train cars" metaphor (or is it a simile? Neither? Oh dear...) for the whole couple thing. Nicely done.

Anyway - so, did I miss the part about sex on a train. 'Cause that seems like a pretty cool idea to me.

Erin said...

I really like this idea of the train couplings. Thanks, Chris, for sharing it with me!

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