As a professional relationship/couples coach I am often helping or teaching others to love each other more, but often not intellectually with goals, as you might think as a coach. The human ego lives in a state of wanting to ‘get more, and wanting to get what we want’ from another, but this is based on ‘getting’ and so is superficial when it comes to a loving relationship. Because pure love for another has no selfish intent, instead it has, an open-hearted, giving nature that fully supports the growth of the other, even if, we don’t get what we want. Loving like this requires emotional maturity and inner strength.
If love, in a loving relationship is based solely on ‘our needs’ it is rather like sales, give me this, and I’ll give you that, so it is a restrictive love, by nature. This is the most common form of love today in society and in loving relationships, but this kind of love lacks depth, freedom, courage and substance.
What we need is to find a place in ourselves deeper and more open and loving for another than the minds attempt to ‘get what it wants’ otherwise our love is, superficial at best. Indeed, early stages of a relationship in dating can often resemble sales. We dress up to look our best, date, in an extra effort to win the deal and the affection or attention of the other. But affection or attention should not need to be won, it should authentically happen because of care and love for the other. In the early, exciting stages of a relationship our sex drive is usually higher, due to the lust system in the brain being more dominant. But after this stage subsides, relationships need more of a mental, emotional and spiritual connection.
Our Lust System and Sex
Loving relationships are complex by design and often begin with regular sex. Because as human-beings we have emotional and physical needs. If they are not met, we down regulate emotionally, and we feel less satisfied. Good sex is satisfying, and helps us to regulate as human beings. We need enjoyable, regular sex, as a man or woman. This eroticism pulls us away from our intellect and connects us to the rawness of the body, and our deeper, more animal-like instincts. Neuroscience even confirms that the human brain has seven emotional systems, with one being the lust system. This system is slightly different in chemistry in men and women but still requires regular sexual activation in a relationship. The challenge is, even if a relationship has good sex but lacks a mental, emotional and spiritual connection, there will be a longing for the missing elements for the relationship to feel complete to us, although we will experience bonding chemistry from the sexual intercourse.
Our Heart and Minds Longing – Mental & Emotional Connection
Mental stimulation and connection with our partner is extremely important. This is because we are too designed for our relationship intelligence to be challenged, stimulated and developed. We need mental engagement with another on our intellectual level. Indeed, if the mind of a partner cannot quench the intellectual thirst of another, then this leaves a person with a state of longing for this need to be met by another. The emotional element is rooted in the desire for connection on all levels, and has much to do with someone’s heart, mind and personality.
The spiritual element is multi-dimensional and spirituality means different things to different people, but what I will say is if we are brave enough relationships that trigger us, bring wounded aspects of ourselves up, so we can heal them, and become more integrated, in the caring arms of another.
Everywhere are relationship books based on strategies and concepts, that fail to deal with the individual, emotional and spiritual challenges couples face, that unfold naturally in their relationships and lives. This is the spiritual component as I see it.