Relationships and true connections.

iStock_000016544853_ExtraSmall     Relationships are very tricky these days.  With the digital age as omnipresent as it is, it’s very easy to mistake a perceived connection as the real thing.  If that is not bad enough, there are so many personal agenda’s attached to relationships that a true connection is almost impossible to feel.  So how does a couple find a true connection with all of these outside factors mimicking the real thing?

I do not think I can honestly answer that question, since it’s a personal and subjective experience to each individual.  I do know, however, that there are certain behaviors that are universal to loving another person.  It is this repeated data, in my opinion, that might hold the answers.

A true connection with another person is sacred.   A connection like this is not an automatic guarantee to happily ever after.  Too many people think that their relationship will persevere on its own without having to put in work to maintain the connection.  That is why I personally believe the divorce rate is so high.  One or both people involved take a passive stance in the relationship thinking that “love is all you need.”  If love was all we needed we would be pacified with our parents love.

Maintaining the connection requires conscious attentiveness to each other’s most basic wants and needs.  Each person wants physical intimacy as well as emotional intimacy.  If you are in a relationship that you feel is not providing you with enough physical intimacy, you have to question if you are giving enough physical intimacy to your partner.  Naturally, your partner will mimic what you are putting into the relationship.  You each are directly responsible for your actions and reactions to each other.   A relationship is two people, not one.  If you are not giving enough physically to your partner, how in the world can you expect them to give more than that back to you?

Physical intimacy releases oxytocin.  Oxytocin is the “cuddle hormone.”  It is more known in the mother-child dynamic.  Oxytocin causes the uterus to contract during labor and is responsible for creating and maintaining the bond between mother and child.  That is not all it does however.  It is also the glue that holds relationships together.  If a couple is reinforcing the flow of oxytocin by way of hugging, cuddling, physical touch, and of course sexually, then the couple will continue to seek out the behavior that produced the oxytocin, and this will keep the desire for closeness and togetherness alive.  On the flip side, if the couple are living more as roommates and not regularly seeking out ways to bond and secret oxytocin, their bond will dissipate.  (On a side note here, this is the main reason that women will cheat.  Men will cheat for very basic reasons that testosterone dictates.  Women will cheat because of a lack of emotional satisfaction.  They are missing the release and bond of oxytocin that their partner used to provide for them in the beginning.  This will lead them to seek out a new “mate” that will give them what they need.  Oxytocin will facilitate trust and security for a woman.  Without it, the bond will break.)

From physical intimacy, emotional intimacy will grow.  Emotional intimacy requires trust.  Each person must feel that they are able to bare their deepest selves to the other.  This trust, once broken, will most likely never be as it once was.  To truly be open and honest with another person without judgment is the basis of emotional intimacy.   Without emotional intimacy, the glue that holds two people together will weaken and push them apart.  If one person feels overly judged by the other, resentment will occur.  If one person in the relationship brings in an outsider and confides in the outsider the feelings of the other person in the relationship, this will cause the judged person to recoil even further away from their partner.  Those bonds of trust will break.  Again, when those bonds are broken, they may never become solid again.

What I have learned when it comes to relationships, I have learned through experience.  I have had both good and bad relationships that had a truly great connection.  I have been both the giver and the taker.  I have learned that I hold the keys to the relationship that I want.  If I want physical and emotional intimacy, I had better give it.  I have also learned that regardless of the situation, I am responsible for all things that happen in my relationships, good and bad.   If my partner has cheated on me, I know I did something for them to seek out a connection with someone else.  If I did the cheating, I know I did something to cause me to seek that connection with someone else.

To whomever is reading this right now that has found themselves in similar circumstances, I pose these questions to you.  How honest will you be with yourself?  If your loved one cheated on you, are you willing to look at the relationship and take responsibility for your actions that caused the other to wander?  If you yourself cheated on your partner, are you willing to be honest with yourself as to why you cheated?  Are you willing to look at your relationship from an honest level and give the other person what they need?  If you are not willing to do that, then let the relationship go.  It will not grow into a healthy, loving relationship.  You both will be happier in the long run.