The mirror comes as both a sequel and precursor to my article about choosing to reach or settle in a relationship. For more details you can read it here.
Centrally based around notions of reflexive self-perception the mirror is a concept that explores self-evaluation via a third party. It’s a confronting idea, one that spins the mind until you feel it become dizzy and cannibalize.
In the most basic sense the mirror means this: what you see is who you are.
A relationship always holds a mirror up to you; your values, characteristics and sense of self are constantly on display, and often compromised. How clear you see into this mirror it is dependent on your own vision, level of self-awareness and willingness to understand yourself.
The mirror theory claims to encompass every relationship in your life; everything you like in another person is something that you like in yourself, and comparatively, those things that irritate you (in another) are a direct subconscious translation of what frustrates you about yourself. In an intimate relationship the effect of time and proximity is that your character is more likely to be exposed with a heightened intensity. When you become very close with someone you stand to become intimately acquainted with yourself also; your flaws, your neurotises and your unique quirks. This can be difficult to comprehend, because we’re often shut off to being openly perceptive of ourselves. As humans we’re quick to point a finger but less happy to cross-examine our own behaviours.
Whether you choose to reach or settle in a relationship, the mirror remains in place. The type of relationships you have only help determine how much you are willing to place yourself at the forefront of (constructive) criticism for improvement or demise.
With a reacher the mirror is highly visible because part of reaching goals (which is instrumental to the reachers success and happiness) is the continual process of evaluating progress. In an intimate relationship self-evaluation encourages consideration of the ability for you to achieve goals, and of how your partner helps or hinders this progression. A reacher is always measuring themselves and their successes and as a by-product of this analysis, you’ll be doing it too.
In a relationship where settling is commonplace the mirror is still present but subconsciously abandoned. Settlers often use the relationship function as a shield from looking into a mirror. If they are unhappy on a personal level, they can use their relationship as a distraction from reality. In particularly problematic scenarios a relationships will become abusive as a result of a partner being a mirror to deeper insecurities.
The way to counter a destuctive effect in any type of relationship is to always be open to asking yourself why. If something upsets you, ask why, if it frustrates you then question it and if someone treats you badly, don’t forget to ask why it’s happened.
Remember, that in relationships of all types the way someone makes you feel is directly relative to how you feel about yourself.
Always reflect and love with care,