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Connection in a relationship

I’ve seen many online profiles in my dating career. Of course, the thing I looked for is where we could connect and maybe share something of common interest. Obviously, the more we could share, the more we would have to talk about on a first date. It was always interesting to see the variety of descriptions, and I enjoyed finding shared interests. I also looked beyond interests to views. However, that was more difficult to interpret at times. Nevertheless, it seemed like the more connection we appeared to have, the more likely we might be able to spark a relationship. Now that I’m in a long-term committed relationship, I think I have a better idea of how connection brings two people together.

I think we don’t get very far in any relationship without some common ground to connect us. Typically, we spend more time with people when we share common interests. It gives us something to do together, for one. Also, it’s easier to talk about our own lives when we have common ground. We can focus on the most interesting parts, and we don’t have to explain as much. In addition, we get to experience more of the same events by talking together. Despite doing the same things together, we likely experience the same events differently. After we’re done, we can talk about what stood out for each of us and compare those differences.

One of the things my husband and I share is an interest in food and everything that goes with it. It’s not just eating food. He’s a chef, and I’ve spent some time learning a bit about cooking myself. When we eat out, we like to review the dishes we try. Also, both of us have a shared interest in how food relates to overall health. We’ve worked together to evolve our diet into something much healthier than what we’ve grown up with. For us, that means shifting more to vegetarian and vegan dishes, adding fermented foods (for probiotic assistance), reducing sugar (sucrose, glucose and fructose) and drinking water. It’s an ongoing project the both of us contribute to.

I think we also feel more optimistic about life if we spend time with someone who shares the same overall philosophy of life as well as key habits and characteristics. If we treat people the same way, we enjoy the same social activities. If we manage money (or resources in general) the same way, we feel better about our own habits and appreciate them in the other. If we have matching physical desires, we can feel great physical fulfillment together. There are other unique habits more integral to personality where we might be able to connect. It’s important we learn about where past relationships don’t work for us and what kind of personality we really appreciate.

One of the things I adore in my husband is his ability to be emotional. I remember how easily he expressed himself when we first met. It moved me greatly. I was usually the one who gushed forth early in a relationship, but things turned around. When he showed the kind of direct emotional honesty I normally displayed, I knew I really liked him. Of course, it’s taken some time to get to know what that really means for the both of us. I’m happy to say, it’s been very rewarding. He maintains good balance between his more intense feelings and his ability to approach life with playful wit. I’ve had to learn to let all of my emotions out with equal honesty, although his mere presence has encouraged me to do so. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Every one of us has to learn what connection will work best for us. I think it typically includes several levels of connection. There are the activities we like to share. There are also the ways we approach life. We tend to value our own approach, so I think when we find someone who approaches life the same way, we feel a much deeper connection. It is this connection that eludes us, I think, because we don’t spend enough time getting to know who we are. But, hold that thought. My next post on authenticity will go into more detail.

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