What does it take to build strong, intimate and meaningful relationships? For starters, trust, healthy communication, honesty and genuine care for the other's wellbeing.
When we first meet someone, there is no telling where the relationship will go. Being a dreamer, it is easy for me to want everyone I have a meaningful conversation with to grow into a long lasting bond. Often that is not the case. I have learned to notice and appreciate all forms, layers and depth of chemistry, connection and compatibility for exactly what they are with no further expectations or attachments. Yes, I know, easier said than done. It is an ongoing practice. What I have found is that once I allow the meaning of each one of the "C's" to be what they are, it has helped me be more in the present moment to enjoy each experience for what it is.
Let's start with Chemistry. This is when there is instant complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people. As an extravert, it is often quite easy for me to have chemistry with people casually and have random deep conversations even just waiting in line to order my coffee. I love meaningful conversations that dive below the surface. I never take this kind of chemistry for granted yet now understand that "pocket size" chemistry (like a passing conversation with someone in line at the grocery store) can also be fulfilling when you fully immerse yourself in the conversation and experience and then are able to walk away with no attachment.
Next is Connection. When a person feels valued, seen and heard and there is a sense of closeness and belongingness in an experience. This is much less common and often we confuse chemistry for connection and can get ourselves into a pit of unrealistic expectations as to the level of depth a relationship has to offer. Connection is that feeling you get when you feel as though you have known this person in many past lives, or have a feeling that you have met before. Sometimes a person can even look familiar and yet you know you have never seen them before. These kinds of connections often come with chemistry as well and have the potential to develop into long lasting relationships.
Finally is Compatibility. When you share the same mindset lifestyle ideals and values. This is more of an intellectual or logical step of forming meaningful relationships. The others have more to do with instinct or feelings. This is where we pause and ask ourselves. Does this make sense to move forward with this relationship? Often, this is where we want to ignore red flags and push forward because of our chemistry or connection we felt. This is where communication is key!
I also want to add that another layer is Attraction. The sense of closeness, interest, or desire you feel toward someone. This doesn't only mean physical like in a romantic relationship. Sometimes we are attracted to the way a person, looks, their achievements, their materialistic belongings. It's worth taking a moment to ask ourselves, "Does this relationship support me, my values and my life's intentions or does it just look good on paper?' Attraction is not a bad trait, especially in romantic relationships, but it is worth asking ourselves if we like the idea of this person or what we think they can do for us or is there something deeper here?
Navigating relationships socially, romantically and even professionally is arguably one of the most complex and complicated experiences of our life and yet essential to our wellbeing! I heard this beautiful analogy about the difference between love and like, using a flower. When we see a beautiful flower blooming or when you "like" someone, we pluck the flower, smell it, appreciate it for the joy it brings to us. We place it on a counter to enjoy and once it withers, we discard of it and possibly find another flower to pick and admire in its place. When we "love" someone, we admire the flower as it it. We water, nurture and care for it just as it is while we help facilitate an environment where the flower can thrive and live out its glory as it was meant to, while we treasure not only the beauty and fragrance it gifts us with but enjoy the process of caring for it in it's unique way.
Bringing love to a relationship is more about knowing ourselves, living in our authenticity while we share space, and admire those in our lives. When we give permission for others to show up as they are, the depth of intimacy has the potential to bloom into something more fragrant than either of you could have imagined. Our job is to show up, stay present and enjoy the journey as nature takes its course.
People and relationships have so much potential to enrich our lives and help us grow. Do you care to join me in a practice of bringing attention and intention to caring for and nurturing the relationships in our lives and bask in their beauty rather than focusing on what we can get from the people we have chosen to include in our life story?
All the love,