What Separates the Evolving Couple from the Stuck Couple?

Via Jayson Gaddis
on Mar 16, 2014
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couple love smiling partner

I’ll struggle to connect to you, if I’m not connected to me.

The Evolving Couple

The foundation of a vibrant intimate partnership is the experience of feeling connected to each other.

This is akin to a kind of attuned flow state between two people. It’s a couple’s homebase. From this fertile connectivity, anything is possible.

Understanding the above distinction moves many couples from frustration to satisfaction—if they are up for the real work of relationship.

When two people don’t have this kind of connection as a ground to return to, and they don’t make it the primary issue to focus on, they get distracted and loop in symptomology.

Attending to the ever-shifting, dynamic, relational current between each other is a daily practice for the committed couple. To work their connection, both parties need to take on, as a devotional practice, their connection to themselves. I’ll struggle to connect to you, if I’m not connected to me.

Their core connection requires that both people are committed to their own sovereignty in the relationship (differentiation), while simultaneously attending to the garden between them.

The Stuck Couple

The challenge of course, is that many couples confuse this core connection with the feelings they experienced during the honeymoon stage where most things felt good, where both people were emotionally fused in a temporary love fog.

They keep trying to come back to that fleeting feeling of fantasy and projection.

Both couples here get hooked in an immature view of relationship and intimacy. They believe the fairy tales and movies and feel constantly frustrated when they can’t return to the warm fuzzies of the first few months. They then get trapped in a co-dependent stance of looking to their partner for their own sense of okayness.

At some point, they abandon themselves in service of the relationship. When trying to correct this dynamic, they often get focused on symptoms, rather than the real issue.

So, if a couple really wants to deepen and strengthen their intimacy over time, they must be willing to see the all the ways in which they are trapped in an unrealistic, immature view of relationship.

The evolving couple has a mature, realistic context of love and intimacy and welcomes the challenges that will invariably come their way.


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Editor: Cat Beekmans

Photos: Shannon Patterson/Pixoto


About Jayson Gaddis

Jayson Gaddis, founder of The Relationship School® , and host of The Smart Couple Podcast , is on a mission to teach people the one class they didn’t get in school--”How to do intimate relationships.” He was emotionally constipated for years before relationship failure forced him to master relationships. In 2007 he stopped running away from intimacy, asked his wife to marry him and now they have two beautiful kids. When he doesn’t live and breathe this stuff with his family, he pretty much gets his ass handed to him. You can find him here: Jayson Gaddis or sign up for a free training here if you are dealing with an emotionally unavailable man like Jayson used to be. You can also become a fan on Facebook here: Jayson Gaddis Fan Page.


One Response to “What Separates the Evolving Couple from the Stuck Couple?”

  1. bluemountainchild says:

    Clear, succinct, helpful. Thank you. Bookmarking this one.