Let’s face it, “when you know, you know” falls a little flat as love advice. So how can we tell if the connection is real? Start with these five areas.
In the beginning stages of a new relationship, determining how connected you are to one another can be tricky. Maybe you’re questioning if you’re really connected to your partner, or if he or she is as invested as you are in the relationship. Maybe you’ve hit it off physically, but you’re wondering if there’s more between you. Is there a way to tell if your connection is real?
Instead of focusing on whether a connection is real with your partner, consider the depth and the width of the connection you have. Think about the main areas where partners can connect: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social. There may be other important areas for you to consider as well.
The questions to examine:
- In how many areas do you share a connection with your partner?
- How strong is the connection in each area?
- Where is connection lacking?
A healthy emotional connection means you have the ability and willingness to share your feelings with each other—especially the more vulnerable emotions like sadness, fear, shame, or loneliness. If you’re not vulnerable with each other in this way, your relationship may have some growing to do, or you may be dating someone who is not emotionally expressive.
Remember that the first several months of a relationship may feel ecstatic and can sometimes cause intense feelings for a person. However, this feeling is likely induced by the feel-good chemicals in your brain that are released when you’re falling in love with someone. To really develop a solid emotional connection, it takes time. It must also be reciprocal. If you feel intense feelings toward a partner, but you sense they don’t feel the same, you may not have a reciprocal emotional connection. Having open, authentic conversations centered on how you feel about the relationship and each other will help you determine if there’s an emotional connection.
How do you relate to each other socially? How do you relate to the world as individuals and as a couple? Sharing mutual interests in activities, hobbies, and lifestyle can help in building a healthy social connection. Do you spend time doing these activities together and actually enjoy each other’s company? Do you spend time with your partner’s friends and family?
Social connection can also be determined by how you relate to each other. If one of you is more introverted and the other is more extroverted, it can be a good complement and balance for the relationship, or it can create a disconnection. Evaluate how you relate to each other and to the outside world. If you feel like you can be good friends, you’re in luck!
Do you think alike? If you’re a rocket scientist dating someone who doesn’t think in analytical, intellectual ways, you might be bored with your discussions. Finding an intellectual match can help connect you with both conversation and interests. Your intellectual level doesn’t matter. What matters is that you both have similar intellectual levels so you can relate to each other.
Chemistry is important. Sometimes, this may be the only connection or the initial connection you have with someone. If connection is lacking in other areas, you may worry about whether this is all there is with your partner. It’s great to connect on a physical level, but if this is all there is, the connection may not feel authentic or secure for you.
Have you met a kindred spirit? Depending on your spiritual beliefs or faith, this could be an important piece of connection in a relationship. If you feel a deeper level of connection with this partner that seems to have had some divine intervention, you may be with each other for a reason. It’s not uncommon for people to feel like fate or faith brought them together.
Connection is multi-layered. It isn’t black and white. It is deep and wide.
Depending on who you are and what you need in a relationship, there can be other areas you need to feel connected to someone. If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, the better the quality and quantity of connections you have, the better chance you have for a successful relationship.