PQ 11.3 — Am I open to secondary relationships someday becoming primary relationships, given enough time and investment?

an assortment of Burpee seed packets, including Zinnia, Mammoth Russian sunflowers, Candy pink morning glory, and heavenly blue morning glory
Image by Lori L. Stalteri / CC BY

PQ 11.3 — Am I open to secondary relationships someday becoming primary relationships, given enough time and investment?

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I remember the first time I planted flowers.

My first grade teacher sent us all home with seed packets. A wildflower variety. I was so excited. I walked to the edge of our property to a bare spot. Opened the envelope. It felt like a party, the seeds a kind of confetti. I emptied the entire packet there, right in that spot.

“That’s not how Mom does it,” my brother said.

“Well, I’m not Mom,” I said, ignoring him.

Every day when I came home, I’d go check out my nascent flower patch.

Some of the seeds eventually sprouted, but lying on top of the soil, they quickly died off. And the ones that made it? Were so close together they choked themselves out, their roots competing for space.

I never got my little garden.

Leaving Room to Grow

My brother was right. It wasn’t how Mom planted seeds. And if I’d only read the back of the seed packet, I would have seen that flowers need room to grow. That they need to be planted with enough distance between them for the roots to spread and take in nutrients. At a soil depth that protects them from the elements.

I try to do the same with my relationships.

Now, not every connection is going to grow into something larger. Sometimes the chemistry falters, and nothing takes hold. Other times, the relationship stays low entanglement and dates infrequent. But sometimes? One seed can grow into a giant tree.

And even if not every connection really takes off and fills the space, crowding them too close together without anywhere to grow? Is a sure way to kill them.

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See also: Prescriptive Hierarchy, Incorporated: Where There’s No Path to Promotion

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions & answers, please see this indexed list.

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