How much do you want to share your life with someone? Use the power of Venn Diagrams to find out
There are lots of different kinds of relationships (romantic, friendships, work/school mates etc) and sometimes it might be a bit confusing to think about where they all fit in, who we feel close to, who do we overlap with. You’ve also probably been taught that when you find ‘the one’ you will want to share your life with them. We also get taught that in all relationships we share more and more and get closer and closer? Is that true though? Does that make a good relationship?
For John Venn’s 180th birthday (I don’t think he’s still alive) I thought it would be a good idea to show you something I use in teaching about romantic relationships.
There are lots of different kinds of relationships which involve different amounts of sharing. Some relationships are quite casual (friends with benefits type thing), others are more long term or more committed, others involve more than one person, some are really really intense and some are quite unhealthy (where the relationship means almost everything to one person and not much to the other).
Now try doing one for yourself and think about all your relationships – not just romantic but also friends, family, work/school mates, religion/beliefs that kind of thing.
Draw a circle for you in the centre and then arrange a load of circles around you. Notice which have the biggest overlaps. Which kinds of relationships take up the biggest part of your circle? Have you had to change the size or shape of any of the circles? How much of your circle is left by itself?
Then use that to think about your relationships:
- are you happy with how much you share with other people?
- are there any people you want to be closer to or further away from?
- are you an equal size or same shape circle with everyone?
- who do you spend your time with and how does that match to your diagram?
- how much time do you have for yourself?
- have some of your relationships become more shared? Is that what you want?
Be excellent at relationships
Different kinds of relationships – you can do your relationships however you like!
Different kinds of love – it’s not just about your bits you know
Abusive relationships – how to spot if you or a friend are in one
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© Justin Hancock, 2023
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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. He’s a member of the World Association for Sexual Health.