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March 9, 1998 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


This week's theme is a concept that has fascinated humankind ever since the very first person looked up into the sky and said, Hmmm...I wonder what's out there! I mean, everything's okay here... but wow, there's so much more to explore! Bet where I am now would look real different when viewed from there -- for all I know, this place might not even appear so ... flat. Jeez, and out there, there's just so much more ... room. Maybe there are even ... other people!!!

Wow, I'm starting to feel like I really need some ....

S P A C E.

"I need space," she says, and vanishes into thin -- really thin -- air.
"I need space," he says... and sets out in pursuit of alien life forms.

On the up side, getting some "space" in a relationship allows you -- unlike actual space travel -- to stretch your legs and breathe, and -- like actual space travel -- to get a look at the big blue picture.

However, once someone has headed off into space, the forces of gravity cannot be counted on to bring them back.

When is "space" a temporary orbit -- and when is it ... the final frontier?

Take a hint from Mulder and Scully: in some cases, the lure of what's "out there" may actually be a red herring used to distract us from the nefarious goings-on right under our noses. In other words, sometimes people say "I need space" when what they really mean is "I need to break up with you, but I don't feel like it." (Or: "Our entire relationship has been part of a massive international conspiracy in which you are but a pawn. You can keep the futon.")

Then again, in "space," you cannot hear each other scream. And sometimes, that's a good thing. When it starts to feel like your whole relationship is about dealing with your relationship (like, you can't just go and see Titanic without one of you saying, "'You jump, I jump' -- would you have done that for me?'") -- yet you sense that somewhere, your heart is still in it -- a "space" age can be an effective means of stepping back and getting some perspective on what's really going on.

But remember, in the realm of relationships, "space" should not be a vacuum. If you step back into nothingness, take it as a sign that -- whether you two stay together or not -- you need to build more solid ground into your own life.

So how do you know if, when it comes to "space," you're dealing with the right stuff? Read on.



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