There is little in the world as powerful as human connection. We need other people. Those who claim not to need anyone have almost always been undeniably hurt in the past. After creating Adam, God saw that he needed someone else – someone like him – to have for help and for companionship (ref. Genesis 2:18).
From the beginning of time, connection has been a basic human need. We need to connect with our parents or caregivers as children, we need to connect with friends as we grow, and we have an inward need to connect with one special person for a lifetime. Yes, there are many who deny this desire. Maybe they do not want to be tied down to one person; or, perhaps they have experienced sour marriages in their families. However, if we could feel what they feel, we would know that even the most no-nonsense female CEO and the most carefree bachelor have those moments when they desperately want to have someone love them unconditionally for a lifetime and to have someone they can love unconditionally for a lifetime. We crave connection.
I Feel Very Connected to My Sweetheart!
What most of us do not realize is the fragility of human connection. Yes, it is extremely important and we need it, but it can easily weaken if it is not constantly “fed.” Think of your cell phone. After it has been fully charged, it can work for a while; but, leave it unplugged for a few days, and before you know it, it is dead.
New relationships generally stay plugged into the outlet, per se. There is excitement in the air and you crave being together. You may even physically hurt when you have to say goodbye to him or her at night – and, you also long for the night when you no longer have to say goodnight at the door. Believe me, I remember! ~smile~
Then, your wish comes true! Wedding bells, honeymoon, and then you are finally living under the same roof. For a while, it is pure ecstasy; quickly followed by resuming work or school. Bills start to pile up. Suddenly, you realize you and your pookie bear do not see as eye-to-eye on issues as you thought you did… and the disagreements begin! And slowly your desire to keep charging your relationship lessens.
Some couples even experience diminishing connection issues before marriage – especially if they date for several years. The ‘new relationship’ feeling only lasts for a while and it will be replaced, either with negative feelings, neutral feelings (which do not stay neutral very long), or positive feelings. Feelings do change as events happen. We can go from happy, to angry, to sad, and back to happy in the same day; however, most couples can evaluate their relationship and say whether their interactions are generally positive or negative.
Couples can go from dancing in the clouds with each other to hating the sight of each other more easily than it may appear. In the beginning, when there are fewer responsibilities in the relationship, there are not as many occasions to hurt and be hurt. Then, as the relationship progresses, expectations rise to the surface, feelings are hurt, and communication breaks down – if the couple is not committed to trying to understand each other and work through problems as they arise. If a couple is not interested in putting in significant work in their relationship, their connection will eventually crumble.
Neutral feelings do not last long. Like walking on a balance beam, you will either get across the beam to safety or you will fall and get hurt. When a couple feels neither good nor bad towards each other, it takes very little for life to push them to one side or the other. A emotionally connecting date will probably push them to the positive side, but then an argument on the way home can push them back to the negative side. Couples who stay moderate like this are in dangerous territory. They think they are doing fine, but they do not realize how easily their connection can dissolve. Growth has to be prioritized. No one ever gets far driving in neutral.
Couples who maintain positive feelings toward each other do not do so accidentally. Eric and I, you’ll know if you have been following PreEngaged, have polar opposite personalities. Sometimes, the simplest decisions can conjure up conflict in our marriage because we see the world through completely different lenses. Without prioritizing connection, we would not maintain positive feelings toward each other. If anything, we would stay in a constant state of turmoil. Thankfully, we have found ways to stay connected through the frustrating times, and we are excited to study and find more ways to connect this year as we prepare these posts! Always remember: to keep a connection strong, you must continually feed it, nurture it, and prioritize it.
Make 2014 your Year of Connection!
As you steamroll ahead into the new year, keep the concept of deepening connection on your mind. Find ways to connected more deeply with the love of your life and with those friends and family God has given you. Make bonding a priority. It does not always take a lot of time and energy to keep a relationship charging! A random card, e-mail, or lunch date with someone you want to keep in your life can keep the connection going!
As you think of ways to deepen and strengthen your relationships, we invite you to share your tips with us so we can share them with our readers! We would love to connect with you too!
What are some ways you can connect with your sweetie, friends, and family this week?