We all bring baggage into our relationships and making sense of our relational dance is not always easy. All the same, relationships have basic building blocks that are good to review.
Whether we just started dating or have been married for 30 years, new friends or friends since high school, it’s good to consider how relationships develop.
Relationships are built, in part, on attraction, liking, nurturing, and sharing meaning.
Typically something draws us to the other person. We might be captivated by their beauty, intellect, or spirit of adventure, for example. Or we might simply find our soul drawn to another in some mysterious way.
While attraction alone cannot sustain a relationship, it’s often the initial spark to begin the connection.
Attraction does not always lead to liking. Some celebrities are attractive, for instance, but are not necessarily likable.
Liking involves a true appreciation and valuing of the other. More than being merely drawn to another, we now respect who they are and what they have to offer.
Nurturing begins the active component of relationship building.
Beyond attraction and liking, we now actively care for the other. We are there for each other in times of need.
In time, we develop similar ways of interpreting our shared events and relationship. A common ground is established.
This allows us to be on the same page as we talk and interact with each other and the world around us.
Review and Repeat
While these basic building blocks come pretty easy in new relationships, it’s good to review and repeat even in established ones.
Even years after knowing someone, it’s still good to review and foster our attraction, liking, nurturing, and coordinating meaning with each other.
We may be surprised how much fresh energy we can bring back into our relationship by reviewing the basic blocks that got us started in the first place.
It’s never too late to enroll in Relationship Building 101.