We cannot function well when we are disconnected from others. Connection is vital both for our survival and our mental health. Feeling the need for connection, most people view a romantic relationship as a major source of that connection.
If a relationship is our primary source of connection, being single or in a relationship or marriage that is not providing connection becomes a very large problem.
What is very important, and yet little known, is that a relationship can only satisfy a part of our need for connection. A relationship or marriage is one source, but it is not the only source we need.
The need to be connected that is wired into our bodies and minds is too large to be satisfied by one person. We need not just a primary relationship, but also friendships of various degrees of closeness. We also need a group of others that we consider our tribe, a place we belong. And we need connection to the world at large, some way we fit in, whether it is a spiritual connection, or a connection that is based on our contribution to others.
The catch phrase I use for all of these needs for connection, besides the need to be connected to a partner, is community.
When we are not connected into a community through friendships, meaningful belonging and contribution to others or spirituality, we feel hungry and disconnected.
No relationship, no matter how wonderful, can fill the need for community connections. If you try to force a relationship to fill all your connection needs it will falter and possibly break under the pressure. This happens frequently in relationships and is one of the main reasons relationships fail.
To top this off, if you are single and are not connected into a large community, you greatly diminish your chances of meeting the right partner. Men and women who look for partners in their community do better finding the right partner for them than those who look solely online.
Community in all the forms we need is difficult to develop and keep. You may even feel resistant to the idea of having to go out and meet others in order to create a community. Yet, if you want to have a healthy, happy, satisfying relationship, community is a crucial ingredient.
Here are 3 ways to get started building a community:
1. Join a group of people who are doing something you find interesting. Make it a live, in person group.
2. Go to book discussion groups, lectures or concerts in your city. Or participate in a spiritual or religious community. Volunteer for events if possible to make it easier to meet others.
3. Join a volunteer organization where groups of people are doing good. You will feel good about giving and people who are doing good are often much more open to connecting!
The Key is that if you are not getting your connection needs met through a community of people you will either ask too much of your romantic relationship or marriage, or you will find yourself having difficulty meeting the right partner.
When your community connection needs are met, your relationship needs will be more in line with what a relationship is supposed to give you. This will make it much easier to create a healthy, happy, wonderful, loving relationship.
What’s in the way of your relationship bliss? Experience a Get Clarity Coaching session with me to find out. In our 30 minutes together I will help you see what’s holding you back and what you can do to create the relationship you want. Find out more here.