Lolo’s law of “See Finish” states that “the more thoroughly we know a person and are aware of their shortcomings, the more likely we are to take them for granted.”
The relationship between siblings, close friends, and lovers is one which transcends the usual. Naturally, we are more at ease with these set of people (family and close friends) and bond with them beyond the ordinary. On the flip side, because we know them through and through, there is always the tendency to take them for granted, which is not such a bad thing, except that sometimes we take it too far. The more acquainted we become with a person, the less likely we are to be intrigued by them. The lure of ambiguity and mystery that attracted us to them in the first place wanes as time progresses as we become all too familiar with their flaws and shortcomings and are now aware that they are very human after all.
In long standing relationships and marriages especially, happiness begins to wither when the couple become comfortable enough to totally be themselves in each others company and the “conquest” of love has been achieved. The awe, reverence and excitement that were once the hallmark of the relationship soon give way to negative familiarity that ceases to impress. Disrespect and dishonor all too often become familiar territory in relationships. “See Finish” aka Familiarity has led to the disintegration of friendship, the death of business relationships and the prevalence of divorce in our present day world. Even in the work place, a boss who fraternizes too much with his subordinates is not likely to be taken too seriously and may have problems getting the job done.
I have been in an uncomfortable situation where a married couple argued and spoke a little harshly to each other in my presence. I could swear that when they started dating things were definitely not like that. They held each other in high esteem, and if they had any cause to resolve any issue, they would wait till they were alone instead of washing their dirty linen in the presence of a third party. It is similar to what occurs in romantic relationships, where one party begins to fail to properly appreciate the other when they have been together for a while. The fascination and curiosity that piqued their interest in their partner diminishes considerably, hence the feeling of “I know everything about this individual now, there really is no big deal about them” takes over.
Now, I don’t think that “see finish” can be avoided, especially if one is in a marriage or intends to be in one (even though some people still find that they hardly know their spouse many years down the line). Even if we are not so familiar with everyone else, our immediate families are an exception. Over familiarity with our parents and siblings is natural and expected, and if we are to take anyone for granted, it would most likely be them before anyone else. The difference is that more often than not, they will not mind and are wont to be more tolerant and forgiving of any negative conduct that we may display as a result of our blood ties which trumps every other form of “see finish” with them. However, in friendship or love relationships, often times, there’s only so much contempt arising from over familiarity that our partners can take. Did I hear someone say “Marriage is different as it is for better or worse”. Well, true on paper, but the spate of separation and divorces in our society tells me otherwise.
Familiarity should in actual fact pave the way for greater intimacy and love. The exclusive insight we are privileged to have into another person’s life should help us appreciate them warts and all. Instead of breeding contempt, “see finish” should evoke and sustain love in our interaction with those few people whom we have the special honor of being particularly close to. Familiarity can and does breed contempt…but it can also breed a special kind of love, intimacy and understanding. The choice is ours.