Lovers and Supervisors:
Same Things ó Just Different?
Do we really want the same things in a lover as we do in a supervisor ... just
Is a good supervisor any different than a good lover? Well, in some ways, it
certainly is - we donít get to choose our supervisor! We respond very
differently in our interactions yet so much is the same. Is there a point of
intimacy in these two relationships that becomes interchangeable? What about the
power differences ... surely we must feel a level of equality in bed, donít we?
I am acutely aware that my supervisor wears the pants in our relationship ... is
anyone wearing any pants in bed?
Do we want to be stimulated, supported, cared for, nurtured, accepted, trusted,
relied on and challenged? Do we ever really reach our climax in bed or in our
profession? Hmmm, supposing we do, what happens next? Do we look for more and if
so, what is it we look for? Doesnít a lover provoke and excite when signaled to
do so and remain silent when not? How great would it be if our supervisor did
that, too? There exists a ďrhythmĒ which allows our communication to flow easily
with a lover, yet we often remain guarded and protective, even suspicious, with
our supervisor. It is almost like a brand new romantic relationship that lasts
forever, isnít it? We start by showing only what we want the other person to see
and, so, is this what we do with our supervisor, as well? What happens when our
supervisor sees the ďreal meĒ... or, does she/he ever? Does our lover ever see
the ďreal meĒ? Are we always ďactingĒ, just different depending on with whom?
Who are we, really?
Honesty, well thatís a funny one, isnít it, because we say we want honesty but,
do we really? We are supposed to be honest, arenít we? We throw this word around
as though we are superior beings who would never speak anything but the truth.
Sometimes the truth hurts and when we ask for honesty from our lover and our
supervisor, arenít we really asking for praise, looking for someone to make us
feel good and telling us only what we want to hear? I would hope that there is a
point in these relationships where we do feel secure and safe enough to be
honest and accept the truth ... I am still wondering when this happens?
Lying in bed naked beside a lover ... is there another time when we feel
so vulnerable? I say YES! What happens when our supervisor finds out what we
donít know? The jig is up! Isnít it? To what degree do we let a supervisor in?
Do you remember that time when you realized what you were ďentrusted to doĒ was
entirely different from what you did do? Perhaps the allotted time frame was
just too short, too complicated, or that was the day you simply werenít into it.
Remember the time that happened with your lover? Painfully embarrassing ... both
ways. Isnít it about gentle guidance, awareness and feeling appreciated? Being
recognized for what we do is instrumental in wanting and giving more, is it not?
We even play the same mind games with both our supervisor and our lover ... just
different; usually not really saying what we want or what it is that is
bothering us ... we always find another way to communicate, be it through humour,
saying nothing, deflecting, skirting around the issue until, say, ten days later
because some other issue gives rise to the earlier issue, and because we always
just assume the other knows exactly what we are thinking by the often ridiculous
innuendos we employ in our guarded discourse.
Are the consequences of our actions the same in bed as at work? Having a
fulfilled, satisfying, lasting relationship with a lover is a lot of work; at
times too much work for many of us. Being fulfilled, loving what we do, being
satisfied and having endurance at work is equally difficult ... just different.
When we stop loving it, being fulfilled and satisfied, and lose the necessary
stamina, it truly is over; sometimes we just donít know how or when to end it.
Sometimes, we donít even recognize that it is over. It makes our life much
easier when someone else ends it for us, regardless of whether we are able to
recognize the significance in that moment, a year from that moment or even ten
Isnít it great when you arrive at work and your supervisor is playful, creative
and full of spontaneity? Just as we love the same things in bed. It makes you
want to come back for more, doesnít it? Something fun, someone interesting and
an opportunity to learn something new is always welcome and energizing.
What happens when a supervisor leaves and a new one takes over, are the feelings
the same as when we do our dance around a new lover? The anxiety of whether I
will be accepted, will he/she see the good in me ... same questions we ask
ourselves ... just in a very different way. The awkwardness feels rather
similar, does it not? We all want to be liked for all the right reasons. Do we
invest in the same way? When is the right time to show our level of commitment?
The more thought I give this question, the more I believe we do want the same
things in all of our relationships ... just in different ways. Donít you agree?