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5 Way to Connect in Your Relationships

“Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible.” ~Unknown

I liked this quote because I find that we often we lose sight of our truest selves in the world of dating.

I have noticed that a common theme among my clients is the confusion and frustration that comes when trying to determine if someone is “the one.” So I came up with a theory to help people get more clarity as to what is really going on in their relationship. This often helps people feel more empowered and free to move forward in their lives.

To start, there are two main questions that one should consider when questioning forever with a mate.

1. Who is this person in relation to the real world?

What do they do? How do they act? What is their life like? This often turns people on or off prematurely. i.e. “He’s a doctor and loves kids! We’re perfect for each other!”

2. Who is this person in relation to me?

What is your actual connection like? Do you connect in some or all of the ways that are most important to you? This is where my “Fundamental Five Theory” comes into play, because often times people jump in or reject prematurely based only on the first question.

Each person requires a certain level of connection in each of the following areas to be truly satisfied in a relationship.

The Fundamental Five Ways to Connect with your Partner

1. Intellectual: Can this person connect with me intellectually?
2. Emotional: Can this person understand/handle my emotions? Do I feel comfortable sharing?
3. Spiritual: Does this person share or respect my spiritual/non-spiritual beliefs?
4. Chemistry: Does it feel natural and enjoyable to be in each other’s physical presence?
5. Lifestyle: If I were to be dropped off into his/her “world” would it feel comfortable? (i.e. culture, eating habits, sleeping patterns, cleanliness, social habits, health, hobbies, etc.)

“Why doesn’t this feel right?”

People often start relationships based on the excitement that comes with idealizing a person’s professional achievements or connecting in only a few of these five ways. After some time, however, if all five of these connections aren’t satisfied, it can often leave someone wondering what went wrong–when the problem is that they didn’t find someone who satisfied all of their connection needs to begin with.

Clearly there are many other elements that influence our own ability to be satisfied in general, but finding someone who is compatible in the Fundamental Five Ways will definitely make things easier!

Therefore, when looking for the strongest match it is of the utmost importance to find someone who:

  • Relates to the world in a way you value and enjoy
  • Satisfies all of your fundamental five connection needs

How do you know when someone is a good match?

Photo by Mr Theklan

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About Jasmin Tanjeloff

Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist. She integrates psychology with eastern practices to help people minimize anxiety, sadness, body image concerns, work difficulties & relationship issues to feel balanced, peaceful & empowered. To schedule a session visit www.JasminBalance.com.

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  • edinburgher

    isn’t that a tall order though? I’ve never met any human being (or dog) that ticked more than one or two of those boxes for me at one time :(

  • http://honeybtemple2.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    That’s a good point, but I think these 5 are at least good things to shoot for. At the very least, I would say, “does the person respect your lifestyle and way of being and can you respect his/hers?” If you can’t respect how someone is in any of those points (and he or she doesn’t respect how you are) than there’s bound to be trouble once the romantic glow has worn off.

    Thanks for this insightful article! I recently had an awakening about a relationship that has just ended (shifted, actually, we’re still in each other’s lives). I realized, profoundly, that I had been trying to live in a fantasy relationship and ignoring/rationalizing things in the relationship that weren’t working. It was such an eye-opener to realize how I had pulled the wool over my own eyes, and how I created a whole make-believe world that we inhabited, when the real world was very different!

    ! I think it’s great to have a set of points to consider when first dating someone, to help when the ego’s need to be loved tries to hide the truth about compatibility. My new rule for relationships? “trust your gut.”

    Thanks-

    Melissa

  • http://luismiguelrivera.com luismglrivera

    personally, lifestyle would be a big one for me. i’m not stable, and i’d need a partner that could appreciate that

  • http://luismiguelrivera.com luismglrivera

    personally, lifestyle would be a big one for me. i’m not stable, and i’d need a partner that could appreciate that

  • Electricbird2

    The fundamental five ways to connection is an ideal way of starting and having a healthy relationship. But it seems almost fantasy to have someone perfect to come into your life and be able to have fully achieve all 5. And if you have someone that achieves the 3 or 4 out of the list, do you just completely terminate the relationship because its not all five? Great concept though.

  • Lila

    Very important– similar morals in general and especially morals concerning the relationship!

  • http://twitter.com/AlannahRose AlannahRose

    I’m with Melissa… I recently came to realize (through a lot of counseling, and then from being outside of the situation for a while) that I had done a lot of projecting/fantasizing about a relationship and kind of filling in the huge gaps by rationalizing things instead of living in reality. We all do it, I think, and it’s fine until a really gaping hole appears and those methods stop working. It’s pretty tough to come to the realization that a relationship isn’t fulfilling your needs and see it truthfully. Arriving at that point was like a death for me, and I grieved for months about it but now that I’m through the other side of the whole process, I see how impossible it would’ve been for either of us to maintain the patterns we’d fallen into.

    I really appreciate this post–those 5 ways to connect are things I will be considering if and when I decide to venture into another relationship.

  • Christy_01

    I like the five fundamental points referenced. There should be points of reference to ponder/discuss when the relationship starts to take on a more serious nature. I think too that growth is key point and can be a turning point down the road even if you match 3 of 4 four out of the five. Partners in any relationship need to grow and respect the growth and change in each other as life happens. – I’m also a believer in “trusting your gut”.

  • Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC

    Thanks for your insight Melissa! Fantasy vs reality is an extremely important point when evaluating a relationship…When we’re in the relationships, it really is often very difficult to see the whole picture objectively and so true that our ego fears and desire for love cloud our truth. Keep up the great reflecting! Warmly, Jasmin

    http://www.JasminBalance.com

  • Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC

    Great point Christy! Growth is key above all, you just have to be sure that both people are on board and working towards growing together. All the best to you…Jasmin

    http://www.JasminBalance.com

  • Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC

    It is really brave and strong of you to work your way through those rough times Alannah. It sounds like you are more clear and grounded because of it….Jasmin

    http://www.JasminBalance.com

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  • Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC

    That’s a really great question! I really believe that it depends on your ability to fully accept that your needs may never be fully met in whichever of the fundamental five ways. For example, if you connect in all but emotional, would it really truly ok for you to not be able to feel comfortable expressing your full emotional self? Maybe so…the ability to accept and honor the reality of the situation is foremost. All the best…Jasmin

    http://www.JasminBalance.com

  • Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC

    I hear you…..it is not easy to create high expectations for ourselves in any realm of life. One thing I have learned however, is that it definitely isn’t possible if you don’t believe it is possible. Our perception of the world affects our lives much more than we realize. I was just writing about this in my blog the other day, check it out http://www.JasminBalance.com/blog the posting was “Decide What is Possible”

    All the best…..Jasmin

    http://www.JasminBalance.com

  • Jasmin Tanjeloff, LMHC

    I hear you…..it is not easy to create high expectations for ourselves in any realm of life. One thing I have learned however, is that it definitely isn’t possible if you don’t believe it is possible. Our perception of the world affects our lives much more than we realize. I was just writing about this in my blog the other day, check it out http://www.JasminBalance.com/blog the posting was “Decide What is Possible”

    All the best…..Jasmin

    http://www.JasminBalance.com

  • Daisy

    How did you walk away? That is the hardest part. I think I am in that situation now and I even went as far as marrying this person, my bad. It’s a long and complicated story. I care about them deeply, and I don’t want to hurt them, but we will never be right for each other.

  • http://twitter.com/AlannahRose AlannahRose

    Honestly, the whole story of how I decided to end the relationship is so long and complicated, there really isn’t a way to write about it clearly here in a comment (especially on a public site). For me, in the end I just knew that the changes that needed to be made for me to be happy weren’t going to happen and I couldn’t take any more of the “limbo” my life had been in for almost a year. I was basically waiting for something that wasn’t ever coming, and I realized that we weren’t the right people for each other as far as long-term happiness and compatibility went. I got to the point where I couldn’t take it any more (and I was having some health issues as well), and after one specific incident, something inside me clicked and I knew that was the last straw for me. I had to be the one to say that I was finished, and that was the hardest thing I’ve probably ever done up to now. A few weeks after that decision, I started to really see things more clearly and it became more and more obvious that I had made up for some of the gaps in the relationship in various ways and that I really hadn’t been happy for years.

    We had been together 12 years (married 3), and were in counseling for 9 months or so, so the decision was definitely not something that came quickly or easily to me. I had been in counseling alone for a couple of years (and still am), and even though I definitely had my own insights, my therapist also really helped point out some of the patterns and things I might’ve missed or taken a long time to realize. If you aren’t already in counseling, I would definitely recommend it. That’s the best place to start if you want to try to stay together and become the right people for each other. If you really aren’t interested in couples counseling, I would highly recommend getting a therapist for yourself. Without mine, I wouldn’t have made it through the past couple of years or come to the healthier place I am in now.

    I feel like I didn’t answer your question very well, but honestly there are just so many different pieces to my story that it’s kind of hard to summarize it all here and make it relevant!

  • http://twitter.com/AlannahRose AlannahRose

    Thank you so much, Jasmin. I really do feel clearer and much more grounded after coming through everything that happened this year.

  • KrystleG87

    I highly believe in these Five Fundamental Points, and I just realized that after reading all five of the main criteria that the reason past relationships didn’t work out because there was at least one of those points missing. Crazily enough, in the new relationship I’m in (we’re about a month old), we connect on all Five points so early, and I have that “gut” feeling that things will turn out great. It’s funny but everytime I expect the rose colored glasses or “honeymoon glow” to wear off, he ends up surprising me and things amazingly get better. But thank you for this little “checklist” for relationships, it can really help gain perspective on a relationship that’s going down the right road or that’s doomed from the start!