March 16, 2014

What Separates the Evolving Couple from the Stuck Couple?

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.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photos: Shannon Patterson/Pixoto

Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Jayson Gaddis  |  Contribution: 15,920