In relationships we can connect on many levels. Some couples form relationships in which the chemistry works on all fronts, while other pairs connect well in some areas, but not others. That’s just the way it goes. Couples that connect on all levels share common values, interests and goals. They are intellectually compatible, emotionally suited to one another in terms of basic temperament, and physically connected with zingy chemistry. On the other hand, some couples have a fantastic intellectual connection that flows easily, but physically show little affection toward each other. Some have a strong spiritual connection but no sexual chemistry. Still others have great physical chemistry but few shared values or visions. That’s just the way it is.
However relationships work best when both people know why they are together, are content with what they “do” have as a couple, and if mutually desired, work towards adding spark to areas that need some juju. My suggestions to improve your relationships are:
1.) Do not force connection where there isn’t one.
Rather then complain or suffer over areas where a gap exists, try to fill the gap with awareness rather than resentment. One of the many pitfalls I’ve watched couples fall into is a tendency to propagate negative thoughts such as: “he doesn’t meet me on an intellectual level,” or, “she isn’t as affectionate as I am.” Of course, some of your concerns may have truth to them, but resenting your partner never helps you get closer to what you desire.
2. Stop Creating Stories.
We all tend to create stories in our heads that are full of assumptions about our partner’s feelings and behavior. These stories often have little to do with reality and usually make us very sad, angry and/or scared. We then react to these unhappy stories with a “fight or flight” response and either attack, blame, or pull away. This leads to an escalation of problems and bigger gaps, instead of resolution. Even the healthiest and most aligned relationships hit rough spots on occasion. What makes for a healthy relationship is not the absence of challenges, but two people who have motivation and communication skills to resolve conflict and work through differences that naturally arise.
3.) Have Honest Conversations About Where You Connect and Where You Don’t
To help you, here’s an exercise to do together. Tell each other what you feel about your present connection in the following areas, one at a time. Just share what you feel and desire, avoiding any blame or judgment towards one another. Discuss how you two connect or lack connection:
Partners in a healthy relationship come to appreciate differences rather then resist them, or refuse to accept the other person for who they are. Once you two have assessed how you engage in several areas, you then have the choice to enjoy what works and explore what doesn’t.