It doesn’t matter how good your relationship is now, how good it used to be, or how good you think it can be… all relationships are constantly, though often very slowly, moving toward falling apart.
That doesn’t mean, however, that all relationships will fall apart. There is a way to counter the natural drift… but before we get into that, we need to understand what relationships are, and why they naturally fall apart.
What Relationships Are
Relationships are a bond between two people, a bond that connects them and holds them together.
There are many kinds of bonds, of relationships, ranging from family to friends, and even the connection between soul mates. Each type of relationship has its own properties… a relationship with friends is simply different than a relationship with family, which is different than the relationship that you have with your significant other.
The type of relationship has an influence on the natural starting strength of any individual relationship, with your personal experience giving the type of relationship its relative importance. If you had a bad family life when you were young, for instance, for you family connections may be weaker than friends, while for others family bonds may even be stronger than their relationship with their spouse.
The type of bond is not absolute in determining the strength of an individual relationship, though… you may naturally be close to your family, but your relationship to your best friend may be closer yet. The same can be true of significant others, too… you may have been closer to your family, and even friends, than to your first love, but your relationship with your one true love may cause all other relationships to pale by comparison.
Why Relationships Fall Apart
Relationships are the bond formed between two people.
As we go through life, we gain new experiences, and those experiences change us… sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, and sometimes just different. This process never stops… every moment we are alive, we are changing and through this constant change we are always becoming someone new.
Constant change means that the relationship you formed is under constant strain, because it was formed between who you were, not who you are.
Any bond that is under constant strain weakens over time… just think about a weight suspended from a rope. It may take a long time, if the rope starts out being strong, but eventually the weight will weaken the rope to the point that it will break.
The same principle holds true for relationships… a strong initial bond can withstand a lot of strain from the changes that you both go through, and the weakening is so slow that it can be very hard to notice. A gradual weakening is not the same as no weakening, however, and unlike the weight hanging from the rope, with relationships the “weight” keeps increasing, as you keep moving through life, becoming who you will be.
How To Bring Your Relationship Back Together
Relationships are the bonds between two people, and those bonds weaken over time… so how do you keep your relationship from falling apart?
You can’t keep the bonds from weakening over time… but you can forge new bonds.
The closeness of your relationship depends on how often you create new bonds. If you take too long, the bond you have may strain beyond recovery. If you only form new bonds when your current relationship is strained, you’ll never do better than staying where you are.
If you form more bonds before your relationship gets strained, though, it will actually get stronger. Your relationship can deepen and strengthen, growing and blossoming as time goes by and you keep forming new bonds.
There are many ways to form new bonds, as many ways as there are people, but they all have one thing in common… they all require you to spend quality time doing something together.
Here are a few ideas to get you started, some easy, some hard:
- Talk to each other… about things deeper than the surface stuff you would tell a casual acquaintance. If your emotions don’t rise up as you talk, you aren’t going deep enough to form a new bond.
- Go out somewhere together… and don’t let yourselves be interrupted. If you can avoid it, don’t bring your phones, avoid getting into conversations with others if you see them while you’re out, etc.
- Make something together… or for each other. This can be something as simple (and cheap) as a playlist, or as complicated as restoring a classic car. If it’s for each other instead of doing it together, though, you need to both put time and effort into it… going out and buying something is not the same as making something, and if any bond at all is forged, it will be weak.
- Stay in together… but make sure that it’s time and in a place where you can truly focus on each other. Watching a movie together can certainly forge a bond, but only if the “together” part is more important than the “movie” part.
These are just a few basic ideas, not very specific… you can take them and expand upon them, or come up with entirely new ideas. What you do isn’t that important… it’s the fact that you are doing it together, that you are giving your time, your effort, and your attention to each other.
Wrapping It Up
All of the above applies to all kinds of relationships, not just the kind between significant others. The same things weaken and strengthen relationships with your family, your friends, and your spouse.
All relationships naturally fall apart… but if you consciously choose to renew them, to create new bonds between you, it will never reach the breaking point.
Your relationships can keep growing, becoming always stronger, for the rest of your life.
Picture courtesy of Ev0luti0nary.
Subscribe because... it's free!
Click here to subscribe by RSS