When we commit ourselves to a relationship with another person, we rightly expect to experience a sense of fulfillment that we didn’t have before. Humans, as social beings, seem to have a universal desire to find a partner. Sexual attraction often serves as the motivator for making initial contact with the other person, and this is usually replaced over time with a deeper sense of commitment and intimacy.
It comes as a terrible disappointment to some people when the sexual phase of their relationship fails to lead in time to something deeper. The task, then, is to understand the forces which block the development of a deeper sense of intimacy – and to do something about it. Fortunately, with some work – and it’s often hard work – couples can learn to move into the stage of deeper sharing and more fulfillment in their relationships.
Dirty fighting can weaken and ultimately break a relationship in the same way that rust weakens a piece of metal. Dirty fighting breaks the bonds of intimacy and causes cracks in the foundation of the relationship. These cracks spread and just like rusty metal eventually breaks apart, at some point the relationship collapses. Both of you ultimately suffer. Here are some toxic communication patterns to avoid:
Numerous researchers have examined the phenomenon of being in love. This refers to the stage of feeling whole and complete once we have found someone who matches the image we carry around with us of the person we have been searching for – that is, someone who has the positive and negative qualities of an imperfect parent from our childhood.
Although some people prefer to remain single throughout their lives, most people strive to connect with and live in partnership with one special person. There are many obvious advantages to finding a relationship partner – physical, economic, social – but there is another significant advantage in that working through the ups and downs of a relationship allows us to come to terms with many of our own personal issues.
Many people search for that special intimacy in their relationship. Some of us search our entire lives for a feeling of oneness with another person. It’s hard to describe, really, what we search for, but we know it when we finally achieve it. Maybe we tire of that dark feeling of being alone as we struggle through life. If only there were someone else here, we say to ourselves, who could understand and share these burdens. Then it wouldn’t be so lonely. It wouldn’t be so hard.
When we blame our partners for our discomfort, this tends to create distance within an emotionally committed relationship. This distance, then, creates a feeling of further discomfort. The clue to dealing with this dilemma is to learn how to soothe your own emotional pain. This can open the way to more passion and closeness in your relationship.
A new relationship has many emotional and psychological aspects that in some ways can be compared to the birth of a new baby. For example, before a baby is born it is usually safe inside the mother’s womb and it depends only on the immediate environment for everything it needs. In a similar way, just before you meet each other, you and your new partner will probably be safe and secure, relying mostly on yourselves and your immediate environments to supply your needs.