A few days back I asked one of my friends, what do you want out of a relationship?
His answer was ‘I want to grow with the other person together‘. Sounds amazing! Isn’t it? Just like that song, ‘I wanna grow old with you’.
However, later I was thinking about that.
How he is going to do that? How he is going to grow with another person who is biologically, socially and most importantly psychologically very different in nature?
Think about it. Almost everyone wants a perfect relationship. Everyone thinks he/she will grow together with his/her partner. But it rarely happens.
Of course, there are a thousand dos and don’ts for a relationship one can find just by a click on the internet. But this is perhaps very shallow way to build a stable relationship. We need to look deeper to find out something meaningful.
Let’s first address why it is difficult?
Acceptance is one of the big reason. Men want women to behave like them and for women, it’s vice versa. It’s nearly impossible as both are psychologically very different. The way of expression is completely different. Both have different emotional needs. Now, what do you expect when he/she expects the other person to behave and think like them?
Chaos, conflict, misunderstanding right. If only both person in a relationship accept the fact that, they are not entirely the same about how they think and express. Half of the difficulty can be solved.
People say ‘I have fallen in love with someone’. But when you want to grow with that person why would you fall, you would rise right. It’s contradictory.
By the way, what’s the difference between falling in love and rising in love? I thought. I was reading an article about a couple who are doctors and in a relationship from 32 years. They described beautifully what ‘falling in love’ means. Here are a few lines from that article-
” Back then, the intense physical attraction to each other and the spirit of exploring each other had dominated the trip. Although we derived joy from intellectual interactions, the focus was very much physical. As doctors we now know this to be the effect of hormones such as dopamine and serotonin — the pleasure hormones. Scientists have now clearly associated being “madly in love” in our youth with the release of these hormones. Interestingly, comparisons of this state have been drawn to gambling and drug addiction characterized by physical excitement, sweating, and an increased heart rate. By it’s very definition, this state is unstable. In other words, it cannot last for an extended length of time. Perhaps that is why the state is referred to as “falling” in love, implying a condition where the state of the mind and the body is driven by outside forces and inherently not in voluntary control. “
What’s then, ‘rise in love’?
I wrote an article on why for an individual, to grow through life one-dimensional success is not enough? Here is the link.
The same thing is true to grow in a relationship. The only difference is you are not alone in this journey but with someone else.
At the beginning of a relationship, one can do almost anything for the other person. But as time passes that excitement goes away, the relationship becomes so stagnant. Why?
Physical intimacy is, of course, an important part of a romantic relationship. But if you fail to go beyond that then everything falls apart. As secretion of hormones in your body reduces, the passion for the other person goes out of the window.
Physical intimacy is just one of the dimension in relationships. To rise in love and keep growing, we need to look for other and higher dimensions.
We human beings have a great craving to fulfill our emotional needs. We all have some memorable stories of our life which we want to share with someone trustworthy. If only we know what are the emotional needs of the other person and how she/he wants me to respond, communications could be magical. For example, in an adverse situation man want solutions whereas women want empathy most of the time. There are different emotional needs for different sexes and it’s not an easy task to figure out that. But there are resources to help you, I find the book ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ very helpful in this context. Give it a read. When you start understanding your partner’s emotions better, you can communicate in a better way and for sure the relationship will grow.
Being the most intelligent creature on earth, humans always crave to satisfy their curiosity, intellect. Thus growth inevitably means satisfying your intellectual needs. This is true whether you want growth as an individual person or in a relationship. For lifelong growth in a relationship, one needs to understand the intellectual needs of the other. If you don’t talk about your partner’s interests, why that interests her/him, communication will become very one dimensional.
It is essential to have an intellectual connection between two people in a relationship. The more our significant one help us to expand intellectually, the more we fell connected towards her/him. Even research suggests the importance of intellectual connection for a growing relationship. And it’s not any rocket science you have to talk about. Just discuss about his/her interests like- science, arts, literature, poetry, painting, nature, you name it. Having an intellectual connection will take your relationship to a new height.
As time passes, people get bored in a relationship. In fact, if you observe deeply, sometimes two people stay in a relationship just because their cravings are getting fulfilled. Man is happy as long as the woman satisfies his physical, emotional and intellectual needs. On the other hand, a woman is happy as long as she gets gifts, frequent dates and other needs discussed above. It’s kind of a deal, although they don’t realize always. One person tries to squeeze happiness out of the other. That’s why perhaps the most important aspect of a relationship is their spiritual connection. Well, a spritual connection doesn’t mean two of them have to sit together and meditate (although it serves a good purpose).
You know what is most bullshit thing movies and magazines have taught you about love. There is a soulmate waiting for you. Only when you find him/her, your life will complete. These are some of the most bogus lines. If you believe and act according to these lines, it is very natural that you will always demand things from your partner.
When you start realizing the fact that you are already complete and don’t need anyone to complete, you won’t depend on others for your happiness. When you know that you are already filled with love, you can spread that love to your significant one. A spiritual connection is built when you realize a deep relationship is mostly about giving not receiving. It’s not about how much you are getting, it’s about how much you are giving. You must become lovable before someone can love you. Thus a spiritual connection is necessary for a relationship to flourish.
A short video of Tony Robbins in this regard is very meaningful-
Physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual connections are foundations of a lasting and satisfying relationship. These are like different dimensions. The more you get better in each of those, more deep and meaningful your relationship will become.
Now I have to ask myself a question, which you might also be thinking. Who am I to give or rather discuss all these insights?
No, I am not at all any relationship expert. I am just a curious guy trying to explore this important part of life. These are all my personal opinions. Write in the comment section if you agree or even disagree.
And it’s not only the relationship expert’s responsibility to know ‘how to build a great relationship‘. All of us should know and explore on this.
Let me ask you a question. What’s the most important thing in life that contributes most to a good life?
Yeah, it’s your relationships which will keep you happy and healthy as you go through life. Don’t believe me, watch the results of the longest research conducted by Harvard Medical School.
I wish you great and fulfilling relationships in your life. And yeah
“Don’t fall in love but rise in love with someone”
Have a lovely week. Until next time. – Joy