What do you think about when you read the word relationship? Does it conjure up thoughts of romance? Or perhaps business, world politics, friendship, family? Does it bring up happy memories, painful memories, confusion? Is it exciting, motivating or does it feel like hard work? Does it bring up safety and security or does it feel threatening? I’ll bet right now your heads are spinning. The fact is that we can all answer yes to all of these questions even those that oppose each other because we’ve all experienced many different forms of relationships with many different outcomes.
The dynamics of relationships are actually quite complex because they involve people who have different backgrounds were raised in different ways, maybe in different cultures, who have been socialized differently and have different religious and political affiliations. All these things define who we are and often dictate our responses and emotions.
Most people meet others, use their observations to make judgments about whether or not this is someone they may want to know more about and then go with the flow. When this happens, we are not being unconscious about the relationship and so it will define itself and it’s highly likely it will not last. Why you ask? Because relationships do not just happen, infatuation just happens, a feeling of connection just happens and that wears off very quickly. A truly healthy relationship must have a solid foundation of shared values, strong respect of one another’s right to their opinions, willingness to learn from one another, a desire to understand and not blame, and most importantly intact egos that honor each others individual needs without feeling threatened or left out. And because of this effective communication is the key to successful relationships.