I’m not planning to see the movie Paper Towns, but I saw the preview. At one point, the female lead is talking to the male lead. She holds up her thumb and index finger half an inch apart and says. “Your comfort zone is this big”. I assume this is followed by all kinds of wild, possibly dangerous, and legally questionable antics, with plenty of teen sexual angst thrown in. However, that scene is great.
I’ve noticed a lot of folks have comfort zones inversely related to their age. The older they get, the less they are willing to try new things. I know folks in their 70’s who might as well die because they’re no longer living. Of course I know others the same age who are still out there doing life full on, so it’s not a given.
Comfort zones are an issue in most marriages because usually one spouse has a much larger comfort zone. It can also be a mixed bag; maybe she’s more open to new people while he’s more open to new experiences.
Problems arise when the person with the bigger comfort zone runs over the person with the smaller zone. As someone with a comfort zone measured in miles, I can run Lori down and not even fell the bump. I’ve had to learn to check with her often and look back to see if she is laying in my ruts. I do this because I love her and I don’t want to hurt her or leave her behind.
The other side of this is allowing your spouse to stretch your comfort zone. Lori has often thanked me (later, or much later) for helping her stretch her comfort zone. She’s found new things to enjoy and has grown because she allows herself to be stretched.
In your marriage are you the larger or smaller comfort zone person, or is it some of both? How do you deal with that, and should you make some changes?
~ Paul – I’m XY and I’m down for almost anything that’s legal, moral, and not completely suicidal.