Unfinished Relationships

I’ve been complaining quite a lot recently about leaving things unfinished.

There’s a few things I dislike when it comes to projects.  I dislike having to rework something and add bits to it; I’d rather build from the ground up because it gives a cleaner result.  I dislike coming in halfway through a project that I know nothing about because I like having an influence over why it’s happening in the first place.

The other thing I dislike about project work is leaving the project unfinished.  I’ve been on two “global” projects (one for six years) that have been stopped at the borders of Europe and North America.  It always sucks when you have a plan or a big idea and can’t see it realised.

I heard a report a while ago that people are physically attracted to others with a family resemblance (albeit most of us don’t find direct family members attractive in that kind of way).  There’s a thought that, biologically, being attracted to distant relative is appropriate when it comes to producing large numbers of offspring.

It’s not just physical attraction though – it can also be personality.  This makes sense, in that one would search for something that they’ve spent years learning to be what is right.  However, there is a theory that it’s not just positive personality traits from our parents that influence partner choice.

Although the causes are largely unknown, a lack of acceptance or an “abnormal” relationship with a parent has been put forward as a cause of narcissism.  A narcissist looks to replace a lack of affection from someone they know should be a primary caregiver by seeking a source of supply from someone else.

Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. wrote this in an article for Psychology Today:

Recently I have been noticing a recurring phenomenon in many clients and patients with regard to their intimate adult relationships.  It appears that many of them are attracted to or have even married someone who is remarkably similar to a parent that they had “unfinished business” with.

By that I mean a parent that they had not succeeded in receiving the unconditional acceptance and love that would have helped them develop a stable sense of self-esteem and self-worth and to fully develop their personalities.  By not having such a parent these clients and patients felt that they were never good enough and/or that they always needed to achieve more to receive the love that they needed to feel worthy from the inside out.

This is interesting when you consider that narcissists usually project their own issues on to others and will cast those people aside when they no longer supply what the narcissist needs.  Given how good people can be at spotting the traits they want to see in a partner, if people look for someone similar to the parent with whom they have unfinished business, it’s unlikely that they will ever find someone who is able to genuinely fill those gaps.

That made me wonder if it’s not just unfinished business with people that we seek to complete? Could it be the same with work?  Is it possible to throw yourself in to something else when you still haven’t finished what you started elsewhere?

Just give me a second darling, to clear my head
Just put down those scissors baby
On this single bed
The sand in the hour glass is running low
I came through thunder, the cold, wind, the rain and the snow
To find you awake by your window sill
A sight for sore eyes, and a view to kill

I broke down in horror at you standing there
The glow from the moon shone through cracks in your hair
I shouted with passion “I love you so much”
But feeling my skin, it was cold to the touch
You whispered “where are you?”
I questioned your doubt
But soon realized you were talking to God now

You got blood on your hands
And I know it’s mine!
I just need more time
So get of your low, let’s dance like we used to!
But there’s a light in the distance, waiting for me
I WILL WAIT FOR YOU
So get of your low, let’s kiss like we used to

I looked in the mirror, but something was wrong
I saw you behind, but my reflection was gone
There was smoke in the fireplace as white as the snow
A voice beckoned gently “now it’s time to go”
A requiem played, as you begged for forgiveness
“Don’t touch me!” I screamed
I’ve got unfinished business

You got blood on your hands
And I know it’s mine!
I just need more time
So get of your low, let’s dance like we used to!
But there’s a light in the distance, waiting for me
I WILL WAIT FOR YOU
So get of your low, let’s kiss like we used to

You got blood on your hands
And I know it’s mine!
I just need more time
So get of your low, let’s dance like we used to!
But there’s a light in the distance, waiting for me
I WILL WAIT FOR YOU
So get of your low, let’s kiss like we used to

Unfinished Business by White Lies

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