There are many ways to feel a connection with someone. We live in a culture where we can think that feeling a spark means that romantic feelings or sex is the natural next step. Attraction doesn’t have to be sexual. Before you go down that road, you might want to explore the six facets of connection to see if that’s a good idea.
This is the most obvious form of connection because it’s generally the first things we notice about someone. Physical connection has to do with liking physical attributes such as hair color and type, eye color, body style, skin tone, smell, sound of their voice, amount of body hair, and touch of their skin. These are things that are pleasant to the senses.
Some people have a mental connection. Usually this means they have similar education level and intelligence because this has to do with sharing of ideas. You have to be able to keep up with someone, and be on the same wavelength, to have stimulating conversations that you both understand and enjoy. Enjoying each other’s sense of humor also falls here.
This is about intimacy really. When two people feel safe sharing their inner selves and giving that safe space to each other, they have emotional connection. If you’ve ever been with someone you feel just understands and accept you, you’ve felt this.
Physical connection is about liking what you see, hear, touch, and smell. So it’s more of the things that lead up to sexual connection. Sexual connection focuses on touch like cuddling, holding, kissing as well as love making. Do you like the same kinds of things in the same kinds of ways? How compatible are your sexual preferences and sex drives?
This generally doesn’t come into play unless and until a couple is pretty serious and is contemplating sharing living space. Practical connection has to do with how well two people work together on everyday domestic issues such as housework. travel, child rearing, and handling finances.
Spiritual connection is about the big picture. Do you share similar views about the meaning of life, God, religion, and how you connect to your spiritual essence. This tends to get more important as people age. It can also increase in importance if you have children and want to see them reared with some sort of spiritual awareness.
All of these things are important, but we don’t all rank them with the same level of importance nor do we always keep them in the same order throughout our lives. For example, at eighteen the two you might find most important could be physical and sexual. At thirty-five they may be emotional and practical. What this means is, the guy that you fall in love with at eighteen may not be the guy you want at twenty-five.
We’re often ruled by our passions. This could mean that the person you have the hots for is not the right person for the big picture. Now, this is not to say that sex and physical attraction aren’t important! They are on the list for a reason! If physical and sexual connection are your top two things, this can make up for a lot of ways that you don’t connect. Since other things aren’t as important to you, it’s easier to overlook them. Just know that looks and passion don’t tend to last forever. And if they aren’t your top two things, you’re probably going to feel a bit empty and unhappy once the sex is over.
Evaluating your level of connection as you’re dating, and even in marriage, is a good idea because your top two are about your love language or how you like to be loved. If you want your partner to make love to your heart and mind before you feel physically aroused, you need to invest time in talking and creating that emotional connection. If you know that, you can dispense with the flowers and put your efforts where they will matter. On the other hand, if you are not feeling particularly fulfilled and you know that your top two are spiritual connection and practical things, it may be time to take the trash out then plan a spiritual retreat together.
Connection can feel like it “just happens.” Maybe so initially, but if you want to sustain it, you have to feed it. All energy dissipates. It requires input to regenerate and grow. There is no happily ever after without effort. When you know where to put it, it makes connection easier to sustain.
Keep in mind that not all attraction is physical. When you love someone’s mind or soul, you may feel like it would be so much more to love their body too. Ask yourself is that what your heart really feels or are you just getting carried away. You can’t undo what’s been done. You may be able to salvage a relationship after a bad call, but then again, you may not. So know yourself and choose wisely.