Have you ever heard someone whining about how much he loves a girl? Or vice versa?
When I observe people in this and many other situations, I’m convinced that most people don’t know the difference between really loving someone, and only being in love with someone.
It’s been a while since I wrote about relationships, and I’ve been wanting to write about this forever.
Here’s how I see it.
In Relationship Qualities Part 1, we looked at six relationship qualities that are present in some of the most successful couples I’ve studied. Today we’ll look at another four.
7. Physical Intimacy
Communication creates emotional intimacy, but in a loving relationship there must also be physical intimacy. Humans are creatures of affection made to touch and be touched. From babies being tickled, to toddlers having their hair tousled, touch is a way of communicating affection and love. When we got older we hugged friends. When we started dating we held hands. When we found someone to love we made love.
These are acts of tenderness that communicate something important to each other. Emotional connections are important for bonding, but the physical connection communicates love and affection in a way that is exclusive to a loving relationship. Without it, what you have is just a very deep friendship. Both emotional and physical bonds work in concert to keep people anchored to each other.
In my quest to evangelize living a Full Life I’ve had the privilege of working with many people in great relationships. Since happy relationships are essential to a happy Life I’ve spoken to many of them about their relationships, and what made them a success and source of strength on which to draw.
We’ve looked at the individual qualities in a person which increase the chances of creating a great, synergistic partnership. But how two people interact and what results isn’t predictable, and relationships are based on emotions, not logic. What bridges that gap is chemistry, an ineffable quality that makes the sparks fly between two people.
It’s hard to predict what causes chemistry between two people, but it definitely isn’t just physical. It’s a confluence of factors that cause a special connection of souls and meeting of minds.
Whatever chemistry is, the happiest, most empowering relationships I’ve studied do have common qualities and we’ll look at ten of them. Having most if not all of these qualities, someone in such a relationship is almost guaranteed to have a rich and full Life, not one wasted on drama or toxicity.
Here we go!
In Part 1, we considered why having the right partner in a loving relationship can be such an incredible part of having a Full Life. We then looked at four personal qualities in a potential partner that increase the chances of creating a powerful, empowering and mutually fulfilling relationship.
In Part 2 we’ll look at another six.
5. Emotionally Open and Mature
A relationship involves emotions, so being able share feelings honestly is very important. It ensures that no energy is wasted with one person trying to breach walls the other has a hard time letting down. Certainly, trust needs to be earned, but as time goes on you should see a gradual opening up. Otherwise you may just be wasting time and your emotions.
Some people fear showing affection and love. They have so many tests for their partner to pass before they give love that the relationship gets bogged down in wasted time and unnecessary drama. Part of it may be related to low self-esteem. But part of it may be inability to open up emotionally due to psychological factors, past trauma or history. It is a long time before they feel safe enough to do so. Unfortunately, before this happens the other is usually so drained and unfulfilled that they leave for something better. Read more