We often hear how important family is to our health and well-being, especially when we are ill or depressed. However, what do you do when you find that a family member only brings heartache and stress into your life?
Posts Tagged ‘human connection’
Empathy is the glue that bonds people in an intimate relationship. When there is an empathic connection, people feel understood, they feel seen. Empathy is not the only way for people to bond, but it is necessary for an intimate connection. Bonding over a common activity or common experience may foster a connection just as doing something for someone else might engender gratitude or appreciation. But in order for there to be intimacy, empathy is required.
I remember reading the classic work of Victor Frankl, MD, the psychiatrist who, after spending six years as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps, wrote Man’s Search for Meaning. In it, Dr. Frankl comments that many of the prisoners fell into a state of despair upon realizing that may never be free again. Their sense of helplessness and hopelessness was so overwhelming that they began smoking the cigarettes that were used as a medium of exchange to obtain small amounts of additional rations from their captives. They had simply given up. Others, like Frankl, maintained their sense of identity, their sense of hope and possibility, and were able to find meaning for themselves even under horrendous circumstances.
Have you ever noticed how small things your partner does can aggravate the hell out of you? These quirks, habits, or idiosyncrasies become like tiny cinders in your eye that drive you crazy. Then one day, out of the blue, your partner comes home from a routine doctor’s visit and announces, “I have cancer”.
In a previous post, Is Chemistry Necessary, I pointed out that chemistry in a relationship, similar to other drugs, offers a quick high followed by a let down as the chemistry dissipates. I concluded that while chemistry may be an important ingredient, it is not sufficient for a lasting, intimate relationship. In this post I will suggest that chemistry, when combined with mutual compatibility can lead to the passion that continues to burn in a long-term relationship.
Sex is as fundamental to human beings as eating. Desiring food and the need to eat is innate; we are hardwired for it. Similarly, our desire for sexual activity is innate; we are programed to desire sex.
If you are a working, single mom with one child or more and find it difficult to juggle a career with childcare responsibilities, home responsibilities, a social life, and finding time to date and develop a relationship, you are not alone. Single working moms have their hands full. Scheduling alone is a major chore: coordinating visitation schedules with an ex-spouse, scheduling and attending soccer or football or baseball games, scheduling play dates, and attending school functions. Then, of course, there are the various emergency calls from school, illnesses, arranging for baby-sitters, doing the laundry and shopping for groceries. It all sounds daunting. On top of all that comes the issue of dating! As one woman stated in exasperation, “I guess I’ll have to wait until my son is in college before I can date again!”
“I went on a blind date last night with a very nice guy, but there just wasn’t any chemistry.” I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard this from men and women, friends, family, and patients. What do people mean by chemistry and is it necessary for a fulfilling relationship? Is it necessary, but not sufficient? Can one have a meaningful, lasting relationship without chemistry? Does chemistry get in the way of a long term relationship? What happens when chemistry fades? These are perplexing questions that have no definite answer. And there are at least two schools of thought. One school says that chemistry is essential, while the other says friendship is the foundation.