“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive, without judgment.” Dr. Brene Brown
The types of connections that exist within relationships vary in nature and in degree of intensity. From my experience, there are 4 that truly stand out and when blended together, create the healthiest relationships that are sustained over time instead of fizzling out after the “honeymoon” phase.
Possibly the easiest type of connection to understand in a relationship is the physical one. People often describe their physical connection as “chemistry”. It’s that feeling of lust, desire and sexual compatibility rolled into one steamy ball of fire.
Other times, it’s not that intense, but rather two people who feel like they’ve met their physical match – someone who’s “equally good looking” – or someone who matches their physical preferences.
While physical connection is obviously important between lovers, on its own it’s not enough. Intense all-consuming physical chemistry is fleeting and when left to stand alone, can lead to distorted perceptions, making one person or both people overlook issues and red flags due to the effects of their sexual haze.
A physical connection that builds over time along with the other types of connection is more sustainable and stabilizing for your mind, body and soul. A sex life that’s amazing from the get go is nothing to complain about, you just don’t want it to be the focal point or glue of your relationship.
If you lead with your sexuality and try to use this connection to “keep them around” you’re pin holing yourself. Sex is great, important and vital to any romantic relationship, but it isn’t the stuff relationships are built on. Beware of “using” your sexuality to hook someone. This may lead to infatuation but it’s certainly not the path to love!
An intellectual connection is the degree to which you connect with your minds and interests. It can easily be assessed and established by how well the conversation flows.
Are you engaged in the conversation?
Are you learning something new?
Does the conversation progress naturally from one topic to another?
Do you have common interests?
Do you introduce each other to new ideas and subjects?
Are you interested in the conversation?
Do you enjoy speaking together?
If you can answer YES to any one of these questions, you can easily say that you have an intellectual connection with someone. It’s an important component to a sustainable, long term relationship. You need to be able to converse, learn from each other and enrich each other’s lives and minds to have a fruitful relationship and to make the time you spend together worthwhile.
While an intellectual connection is a piece of the puzzle, it isn’t the pathway to love. Be your wonderful intellectual self, just know, this isn’t the stuff love and romance are made of and it isn’t the way to someone’s heart – we’re going to get to that.
This kind of connection is deeply rooted in what truly matters to you.
A spiritual connection feels like you “know and recognize” someone, even when you’ve just met. You feel a resonance with this person and a compatibility that’s deeper than the outer layers.
The tell tale signs of a spiritual connection are common (or similar) values, beliefs and life goals. This isn’t to say that there can’t be or shouldn’t be some variance in how you view the world or your lives unfolding; the specifics can look and sound different, but a spiritual connection does involve some level of convergence in your core values, beliefs and vision. Your energies and desires are quite closely aligned.
In this kind of relationship, you’re not overtaken by passion. Yes, passion and passionate moments exist, but you respect your individuality and know how to strike the balance of interdependence (more on this in chapter 8).
This type of connection brings the compatibility component. It sets the foundation for a life that you can build together, where you grow and flourish.
Finally, we get to emotional connection, the realest and surest way to deep love. While all the other types of connection ensure compatibility, an emotional connection is the one that truly bonds you.
An emotional connection is built when both people feel safe to express their thoughts and emotions. This is THE KEY to a romantic connection and the way to his or her heart. Most women try to win someone over with their wit or sexuality, but this is a futile effort. First of all, you don’t need to “try” to do anything – and second, sex and intelligence won’t get you there, not long-term anyway.
What truly makes someone have loving feeling towards you is knowing that they can trust you with their feelings; meaning, they’re not afraid that you’ll judge them or what they’re saying and that you’re not afraid to share how you’re feeling in a way that is respectful to the both of you.
This largely depends on your ability to handle your own feelings and to create your own happiness. When the person you’re dating or in a relationship with doesn’t feel as though your wellbeing is entirely in their hands, they have the space and freedom to care for you without having to take care of you and all your needs.
Most people hide away from sharing feelings and emotions, when in fact this is the building block for your relationships.
The best way to practice this type of connection, is to step into vulnerability and share how you’re feeling. Emotions are the conduit for building true intimacy. That being said, there’s a big difference between sharing emotions and being emotional.
Sharing emotions is mature. Being emotional usually indicates the opposite. This is all about striking the balance of being soft on the outside and strong and resilient on the inside.