Connecting on Many Levels

I often speak with women that are looking for an intellectual and emotional connection with a partner, just as much as a physical connection. I know how challenging it can be to find that perfect partner, but even how more daunting it can seem to keep the relationship connected on all levels. I believe that having the courage to look at your relationship in a sophisticated way and seeking to understand the many aspects necessary for a healthy relationship is the first step to finding the happiness you deserve.

The reasons why two people get along and make good partners are as varied as humans are. Some couples share similar backgrounds, or like the same kind of books, movies, art or food. Others are compatible intellectually or emotionally, or work together on projects they find fulfilling. Some have seen one another through hard times, have an intense intimate connection, and/or quietly support each other despite different interests, beliefs or goals. Most relationships go through stages, with the connection always changing, evolving and hopefully growing.

Each person brings his or her own unique talents and perspectives to the activities and communication that take place in a relationship. When you think about times you spend together, what do you usually do? What do you talk about? How do you feel? How much time do you spend talking or doing something (listening to music, watching a movie, volunteering, reading), and how much time is spent being physical or intimate with one another? How comfortable are you with the balance between these types of activities? If you aren’t comfortable with the amount of time you spend in a particular activity, what can you do to bring more balance to your relationship?

Think about what it’s like to have a conversation with your partner. Which one of you does most of the talking? Do both of you contribute equally? Do they listen to you and ask questions about what you are saying, or do they finish your sentences and put down your opinions? Do you feel like you need to improve the connection you have outside the bedroom?

If you feel like one of the facets of your relationship could use a little more work, spend some time thinking about what you and your partner can do to make a change. If you are struggling to make those changes, it might be time to think about outside factors that could be impacting your relationship. Could there be, or have there been, other experiences in your life that may be causing you to struggle to find the happiness within your relationship that you desire? Are you experiencing extra stress at work? Are life factors, such as an illness, having a child or changing your routine impacting your relationship? Are you struggling with how you feel about yourself? So often, added stress and insecurities have much more to do with how we see ourselves than with how people are actually acting toward us. Talking with your friends and family might help you identify the aspects in your life that might be affecting you negatively (while also pointing out examples of your wonderful, unique qualities). After thinking about what could possibly be holding your relationship back, it might help to talk with your partner about how you’ve been feeling. Give them an opportunity to share their thoughts and views and work out a solution together.

Couples share and do some things together, while also spending time alone or with other friends and family members. If you come to the conclusion that you and your partner struggle to connect on a physical and emotional level, you’ll have to decide if this is okay with you or not. You may conclude that you want to be with someone with whom you’ll feel an immediate connection. On the other hand, you may begin to see this as an opportunity for each of you to learn from one another. Either way, I think it is important for women to remember the many things they can contribute a relationship, like your caring heart, your moves on the dance floor, your love of great music, or the other parts of yourself that make you, and subsequently your relationship, really special.

One Response to "Connecting on Many Levels"

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  1. Jim Nichols

    February 18, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Hello Patty!
    I think you are an amazing person. I am inspired by your story and I, too, try to help out anyway I can with charities, my favorite being The Cure Starts Now which supports the cure of all pediatric brain cancer.
    I wish you all the more success in the future!

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