Artists struggle as they try to balance their desire for relationship with the many real and perceived drawbacks of relationship. Some come to feel that they do best with a partner whom they see relatively rarely—and then they wonder if that is really a completely satisfactory solution. For example, Coco explained:
“An artist’s desire to keep things interesting, alive, spontaneous, independent and free: that’s me. Those are exactly the reasons why I shy away from longer-term relationships or the idea of marriage. I’m not sure I’m capable of compromising any of those things, no matter how much I love the other person. I’m afraid of commitment because I know myself and I know that I have a powerful need for change.
“Luckily my current partner, who is living half-way across the globe, feels exactly the same way. He is an artist who very much needs and loves his own space and independence. He, too, wants to know who he is and what his life would be like without the influence of a full-time partner. We love being together when we’re together and I feel lucky to have someone who is so like me and who understands my needs.”
“I’ve noticed, though, that we never seem to be creative at the same time. He seems to be less inspired to do his work when he is with me. I feel like he is losing out on more when he is with me, no matter how much I encourage and support him. I do wish that our situation could be different and that we could be creative together. I would love one day to feel more like part of a team rather than on my own with a boyfriend who most of the time is thousands of miles away; and who, when he’s with me, is kind of itching to get away again.”
What are your thoughts? Do live-apart relationships work? Leave a comment or drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your thoughts!
Everyone has both needs: autonomy and connection. Sometimes when child care is sub-optimal there may be issues around autonomy or connection. There may also show up the pattern of care taking when we feel responsible for how the other person feels. When that has been in our conditioning, it becomes difficult to feel free when in a relationship, as there may be a sense of something being demanded even when there isn’t. It’s unconscious. It may not have anything to do with the other person. Or a clingy parent may not have permitted much freedom, causing us to crave it.
My feelings are kind of similar, I have been a widow for more than 15 years and part of my pain was to pour myself into my art. When my husband was alive I had to calculate and plan my creative time alone. Being an artist, is a wonderful gift and we learn more when we are able to listen, feel, see and learn to achieve new insights of life. I feel more free being on my own and able to create my own schedule. No rules!! Sometimes I feel that this is selfish of me but I enjoy pouring my feelings and inspirations on my canvas or board without any distractions. I do want to find a partner that is higher than myself and he is also consumed in his career where we can support each other’s dreams, respect and unconditionally love one another. When the partner is not happy with their career they tend to make the other feel guilty and selfish. Life is very fragile and we do not get a second chance. Don’t let anyone drive your car take the wheel and drive-forward. The right person for you is just around the the corner and never settle.
In some types of creativity it works to share the same space between artists — music for instance. My boyfriend is a guitarist, songwriter, entertainer…we work on music almost every night. I play piano and sing and also write songs, and when I get the lyrics down I look to him to add the frosting on the cake, so to speak, and he just whips out some notes and chords and I’m in awe of him. I would back off so that he could write and record his own originals without my getting involved, since he is a seasoned musician and entertainer and I am a novice and eager to learn from him. I think it depends on the artists. Compatibility between two people who are at ease around each other, i.e. zodiac matches, makes a difference. We are both Air signs, he Aquarian/me Gemini, a natural match, and this isn’t a problem for us. It helps to be sensitive to each others’ moods, knowing when each is not in a sharing mood and backing off at those times, since the artistic temperament can fluctuate.
In Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way” she talks about people who are “crazy makers”. When I read the description, I thought “my husband”. He is a wonderful person, but demands a lot of attention, and everything must be about him.
I had a home studio that got no respect as a work space. Having a studio away from home is … I can’t even describe how great it is. Financially, it is a stretch, but even my husband recognizes that I need this space. I am happier and more productive.
Having my own space is a luxury in my heart, but a necessity to my soul.