Friday, July 29, 2005

My TCTSTFTS theory

I have a theory.

It's called the TCTSTFTS theory -- Too Close Too Soon, Too Far Too Soon.

Have you ever met someone whom you instantly connected with? Someone who made you wonder why on earth you'd never met before you actually met? The circumstances you met under seem bizarre and out of this world, and yet, on some levels, perfectly normal. He/she may be exactly like you or completely different, but you feel like you were meant to be friends, and friends for life. Just by virtue of knowing that person, you feel special.

The closeness, comfort and warmth you develop within an extremely short span of time, is unbelievable. You feel fortunate to have that person in your life. You feel special. Really special. It amazes you so much that you ask yourself if it is too good to be true. You know it's not a crush, and it's not love. It's just the most incredible kind of friendship ever. Something that logic cannot explain.

You talk to each other until you feel you're gonna run out of words. And you laugh over it.

But one fine day, that's exactly what happens. You run out of words. You run out of conversations. You run out of feelings. Just like that.

"What just happened here??" you ask yourself. And neither you nor the other person has an answer. There was no fight, no misunderstanding, no other feelings. Nothing. It just got over. Without any reason. And each person walks his/her own way feelinglessly. They get on with their respective lives. But it hurts. What hurts more is not the fact that it is over, but the fact that you just got on with your life as if it had never happened. You try to figure things out. Sometimes by judging yourself. Sometimes by judging the other person. Trying to find whose "mistake" it was. But it doesn’t help. It was no one's "mistake". No one was a bad person. Yet, it happened.

I’ve experienced it, felt the heart-breaking pain of losing what I thought was a great friendship, and thought about it for long hours to explain this phenomenon. And finally, I came up with the TC theory, which at least to me, makes sense.

Putting it very clinically, I believe that people have spaces in their hearts that they lease out to other people they care about. Each one of us occupies such a space in other's hearts. Often, we vacate the space, either of our own will or of the "owner's" will. But sometimes, only sometimes, we get (or give out) lease for an infinite time. And these are the people who stay in our hearts forever. I feel that on some levels, to get to that state, we must not occupy one big space in someone's heart, but occupy "micro-spaces" spread out across the heart. Like a stubborn tenant who is all over the place, and cannot be gotten rid of. And to be able to seep into the spaces in someone's heart like that -- like rainwater in the soil, you need time and patience. Lots of it.

I believe in my theory to the point of paranoia. It's always -- Sayesha, are you getting 'Too Close Too Soon'? Beware, because 'Too Far Too Soon' is on the way! With a real connection, if I get the feeling that it's happening unrealistically fast, I get scared. I back off. But I tell the person about TCT. If they understand, great. If they don’t, it simply means that we never had the connection I thought we had.

So if you have that kind of connection with someone, it's a keeper. Cherish it, nurture it. Most importantly -- give it time.

And that's what Sayesha's TCTSTFTS theory is all about.


Anil said...

'Nothing lasts forever' is what I like to tell myself whenever I get so close to someone. Admittedly my life hasn't been long enough for me to make blanket statements, but I know that it is possible to just drift apart from even your best friends. New people come into your lives, or theirs, or maybe you just change inside and stop feeling the same way... I wish I had a penny for every 'friends forever' card I received from people I am not in touch with now.

Sahil said...

Interesting theory. You're right. Sometimes with certain people, you have a 'magic' connection, which is not explainable by either one of you. Its just there. And you both know it.

Getting to know someone well, will take time. Building trust takes time. Don't put your trust and confidence in them too early on. Let it build gradually. Have fun and enjoy each others company, but protect yourself too. There's nothing worse than having your trust broken or confidence in someone shaken.

I guess what happened with you and your friend would best be described as a "friendship fling". The seeds of friendship were not sown deep enough perhaps (sorry - if I'm judging your friendship here)

Just make sure by holding back and being too careful, u r not missing out on something great. Its a tough balance to strike, I admit.

Btw - loved your analogy of the rainwater seeping into the soil.. just like how a person can seep into the spaces of your heart.

Sayesha said...

//Just make sure by holding back and being too careful, u r not missing out on something great. Its a tough balance to strike, I admit.

It's tough. When you value something, you can either fully live the moment and at the same time, harbour great terror in your heart about it becoming another 'friendship fling' (btw, Sahil, love the term) at the same time, or you try and make it lasting by giving it time. Either ways, it's such a tough decision. Especially for a person like me who loves to live the moment, and at the same time, deeply deeply loves her friends and values such connections, and wants them to last a lifetime.

Sayesha said...

Btw, WH Anil,
It just struck me that I had never read a serious comment by you before! Virdi may just kill me for this! :O

virdi said...

sayesha>> firstly, STOP PUTTING SENTI POSTS. u fool I am away from India and you have to do is put all the senti posts now :( and pehle u used to put "u cooking me eating posts" now what happened to those?? secondly, yes it has happened to me manytimes. when i used to go to my Pind ( means village in Punjabi) and meet all my cousins and we used to have so much fun.
ek sher pesh karta hoon.. ijaazat hai?? ijaazat gayi bhaaad mein... sher hazir hai..
giriya nikaale hai teree bazm se mujh ko
haay ! ki roone pe iKHtiyaar naheeN hai
[ giriya = weeping, iKHtiyaar = control ]
I cant stop weeping if u keep on posting such senti posts.. mera nahi Ghalib ka Sher hai..

Sayesha said...

Virdi, firstly stop scolding me, man! Remember I am also away from India? Rula diya na bachi ko? Chain aa gaya? Ab jo baat dil mein hogi, wohi post mein hogi na!

Leon said...

TCTS happens all the time with me and still I never learn... (sigh).

Getting attached easily is a characteristic trait in many people(me included). The fact that you get that extra attention may not mean anything at all. For instance when you try to leave after visiting friends they may insist you stay a while longer. You feel flattered. However you neglect to realise that if you had chosen to not visit them, they probably would never have noticed your abscence anyway.

It is only when you begin to drift apart, do you realise that you probably didn't mean as much to "them" as you thought you did.

Optimistic, trusting people who assume that most people are good at heart(they are, else this world would have self-destructed long ago) are more prone to the TCTSTFTS syndrome than pessimistic doubters and cynics.

PS: It does seem as if being a cynic would pay when the TFTS part of your theory sets in.. ;-)

Sahil said...

I have a theory too. And its about your theory.

First off, this theory, in my mind at least, only applies for guy-girl friendships. Its exciting when you meet someone new, and you want to know everything about them at quickly as you can. Coz its all great fun.

That's fine. But I think TCTSTFTS happens when this 'eagerness' to get to know the person clouds our judgement. In our wanting to have this connection with this new person, we believe that he/she is better than they really are. We start thinking how 'special' and 'amazing' this person is. Our sub-conscious wants that to be the case so bad, that it makes everything they do/say to be wonderful. Yeah sure, the guy/girl is probably cool and you gel well, but they're no way what you've made them out to be.

And then later on in the friendship, after you've discovered all there is to discover, you realise that they are not that special. You lose interest then, run out of things to say. The 'excitement' just isn't there anymore.

To avoid a TCTS friendship that fizzles out, don't place your friend on a pedestal. Allow time so that you can REALLY get to know the person for who they are. And then you'll have a lasting friendship.

Sayesha said...

I'm beyond impressed. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Though I've seen the theory work itself in girl-girl friendships too, but yes, you're right, it happens mostly in guy-girl friendships. And you're probably right about the pedestal theory too.

I gotta thank you for this one. This topic is something I think about A LOT and your comment really helped me clear things in my head.

Bahut samajhdaar insaan lagte ho. Maybe you really are 40.

anubhav said...

Interesting theory sayesha, sure happens and as sahil says more between opp sexes.., may be quite few such relationships are virtual...anyways i have a theory of my own for such relationships i always try to be a good friend but i seldom have expectations from other side, that doesnt hurt in either case..

Sahil said...

lekin anubhav - woh dosti hi kya jisme kohin expectations na ho?

and Sayesha - thanks so much. If its even helped clear things one bit in your head then that's more than I could have asked for. This occurred to me as I was getting drenched in the rain today, and so I thought i'd share it with you... :)

virdi said...

ok ok now dont cry.. yeh lo beta jalebi.. happy?? :)

Shuuro said...

Well, we all can have our theories but so does the life! Which wont listen to reasoning at times, no matter how self conscious we are, sometimes our actions don't reflect our thoughts. On other note, Sahil has very good point!.

PuNeEt said...

Wow Sayesha… that’s an amazing theory…
Very true indeed….
“You know it's not a crush, and it's not love” - Well said.
It reminds me of my friendship with a very sweet friend of mine…
And when we departed I could feel that empty space in my heart…
Very beautiful post :-)

Sayesha said...

You're probably right. Being a cynic may help. But as I maintain, I would rather 'feel and get hurt' than not feel at all, and walk away a cynic :)

I kinda agree with Sahil. There must be certain expectations in a friendship, such as trust and closeness, otherwise you're always on 'alert mode' and that's not good for a friendship. :)

Indeed it cleared a lot in my head. Isn't it amazing how someone else's rainy day thoughts can bring about the answers to your rainy day thoughts? Thanks again. :)

Yahan serious discussion ho raha hai, bade baat kar rahe hain, tum baahar jaakar apni umar ke doston ke saath khelo. :D

You're right. Life has an amazing way of coming up with counter-theories to baffle us! We just do the best we can to make our lives as fulfilling and complete as we can.

Yes, I know what you mean about the 'empty space in the heart' that cannot be quite explained in words...

Arz000n said...

I think I go suffer from TCTSTFTS syndrome for ages now. I lease out that space in my heart very easily..and then it ppl leave TFTS from it. Yes, it does hurt at times...but this is life.


GC-good concept

Anonymous said...

//You know it's not a crush, and it's not love. It's just the most incredible kind of friendship ever.

I so agree with you.Such a relationship only you and your friend will truly understand.

Sahil said...


ur a riot Sayesha.

sorry Virdi yaar - that comment by Sayesha to you was too funny!

virdi said...

sahil.. u r dead man.. gabar singh aa raha hon main..

Sahil said...

SHE made the joke, and i'm dead?!

arre kuch bolna hai toh usko bolo yaar. I'm just an innocent bystander... but agar usko kuch bola, toh phir mere se pange leyna padeyga, kya? ;)

Sayesha said...

Cool! Sahil, mere liye Virdi se panga lene ko taiyaar ho?? :)

Anonymous said...

Sayesha, I believe in your theory when it comes to a guy-girl friendship. As you said, Sahil hit the nail on the head. I've seen the first half of it happen to a person I was very close to. I'm still waiting for the "Too Far, Too Soon" part to happen, which I'm sure will happen eventually. I haven't yet seen it in a girl-girl friendship and i don't think it applies there.

I don't think i ever told you this, but thank you for telling me your theory at the time i needed to hear it the most. It helped me get through the most difficult time of my life.

Sayesha said...

Hey AC,
Although the TCTS part rarely happens without the TFTS, I hope it does not happen to you, it hurts like hell, yaar.

Anonymous said...

Very well written, you have rightly pointed out the dilemmas, insecurities we face when dealing with our friends. Kudos ! :)

who? said...

it's funny... this TCTSTFTS theory - its exactly what i've been thinking of recently but wasn't able to put it into words... its exactly what you said... you're getting too close, but remember there's the other side too!

nice post. on the mark again.