I have no rhythm. I can’t clap to music, dance to music, or tap my foot to music…. oh I guess I could but it wouldn’t look any thing like rhythm. My father and mother have tried to teach me. My wife and daughter have tried to teach me. The list could go on but all have left, laughing or with at least a puzzled look on their face. I know when something is in rhythm and sounds good, but I can’t replicate it.
Healthy relationships have a balance or rhythm. Just like music has different style and rhythm, here are three things that have to be be present in marriage:
- Commitment – This is the cornerstone of the relationship and has to come out of our character or our faith. It should be something that says, “nothing will ever separate you from my love”. This element has to always be there. You may have doubts and struggles with commitment in the good and bad but you have to work to make this a priority. Commitment creates the foundation or safety for the other two areas to grow.
- Friendship or Connectedness – This is created and sustained by shared experiences where you laugh, play, encourage, affirm and non-sexually touch. Couples become to busy to create quality time for each other. Connectedness is the feeling that you are a part of their life. You can depend on the other to respond to your needs and feelings.
- Chemistry or Attraction – This is romance or physical attraction. This attraction builds off shared experiences. This is not just about sex. If you focus on the romance, cuddling and affection sex will be a natural expression. This is a draw to the characteristics or qualities that create pleasure and enjoyment in the relationship.
I use the metaphor of rhythm here because these have to be present but they are always changing and working together. These three areas overlap and at times one area is stronger than the other. They work together to create enjoyment, safety and pleasure in the relationship. You have to find a rhythm that fits who you are as a couple. At times commitment is what sees you through difficult times and the chemistry is stressed. Friendship is the glue that will keep the three present. Attraction is always flexible and changes over time but should always draw the other back.
How do you cultivate these areas in your relationships?