Seriously, where the heck is it? Wait, I didn’t get one? Oh, that’s right; there is no such thing.
Human beings are relational creatures. As John Donne wisely pointed out almost four hundred years ago, “no man is an island entire of itself.” People need people. It’s as simple as that (or as complicated, as the case may be). That’s not to say that everyone needs to be in a “coupled” or romantic relationship, but every single human needs social interaction, meaning every human being needs Relationship. That’s just science. Still, sometimes, it is easier said than done.
Some of us are what could be described as “born people people.” These are the people who seem to be naturals at making strong, positive connections with others, sometimes in a seemingly short amount of time. You’ve probably met a few. You may even be one yourself; and, that’s great! But none of us are born “perfect” people people. There’s no such being. We humans are messy bunch. Even people who are usually good at connecting with other people can struggle connecting with some personalities, especially with people who don’t particularly want to connect.
We humans are messy bunch.
Even good Connectors can struggle in their personal relationships. Every human relationship is unique because every person involved in a relationship brings their own past disappointments and future expectations into the mix. Solid relationships require connection. Good connection requires honesty and trust, which by the way take time and effort to build. And, connecting calls for good communication. How can two people communicate effectively if they don’t even speak the same language? You’ve likely heard of the premise behind the communication gap between male and female genders (detailed in John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus). Add that to the fact that everyone has their own love language (profiled in Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages). It stands to reason that communication within a romantic relationship can be quite a challenge. Oh, and rewarding relationships require a lot of give and take. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?
It stands to reason that communication within a romantic relationship can be quite a challenge.
The good news is that there are an almost dizzying array of books and resources out there that can help us learn to communicate and to compromise and learn to both give trust and gain it. But no one book or resource can give us a “perfect relationship” recipe. I share this not to discourage or dissuade you from working on your relationships. I share this only to highlight two very important things: (1) if a book promises you all the answers, it’s not true, and (2), relationships are a protracted, not perfect, but absolutely worthy journey.