#241 - We're designed for connection to other people

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We’re designed for connection!

Our need for connection to other people, not just romantically, but in everyday life is the way God designed us. We all need to be connected to other people. In general, we need to have a circle of friends and acquaintances plus we need to have a couple of intimate relationships.

By intimate, I’m not referring to sexual intimacy. I’m talking about having a couple of people in your life that you can talk to about anything and everything without fear of judgement or betrayal.

I’m continually reading and learning about dating, relationships, human nature, etc. Recently I’ve read a couple of books that have overlapped in some of their information about the biology of relationships.

These two books are great resources especially if you have a habit of picking toxic people to be in relationship with and why it’s sometimes so hard to break up even with the worst of people.

The first is Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend and the second is Exaholics by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby.

Both of these books link our attraction, connection, and love for others to chemical reactions in the brain. In multiple studies the parts of the brain that “light up” when we are in love are basically identical to those of drug addicts.

We gain great pleasure from being connected to our spouse, lover, and close friends.

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Why is this important?
It’s because it shows that we have a biological need to be connected. Some of these studies show that a lack of connection leads to diminished concentration, lack of motivation, and even depression.

Even if you’re not in a romantic relationship, you still need to be connected with other people. Work may provide a little connection, but you need to go deeper than that. You need to hang with people that you enjoy spending time with.

You need to be social and sometimes that means going out to parties, events, social gatherings, or anything else that will get you off the couch and out of the house.

It’s incredibly easy to fall into the routine of getting up, going to work, coming home, making dinner, plopping down on the couch to watch TV, go to bed, and start all over again tomorrow.

That doesn’t allow you to do any significant connecting with others. I know this routine all too well because I work from home. Yes, it can be great because I don’t have to deal with rush hour traffic or even get dressed before noon if I choose.

The downside is that I can end up at home and alone for days with no real human interaction. There are literally times I have to force myself to go out and be social because it’s just so much easier to sit at home. This leads to isolation and that is never a healthy thing.

Remain connected.
When we’re married or in a relationship most of our friends are couples. When we get divorced or become widowed our friends are still married. That’s okay for a while but eventually it starts to become awkward and uncomfortable.

It’s not that your friends don’t love or care for you anymore. It’s more the fact that so many of the things that you do with them is when they are coupled up and you’re single. It’s hard to continually be the fifth wheel.

I know a lot of you will get together with your closest friends and have a girls or guys weekend. But how often does that really happen…a couple of times a year, maybe quarterly, or even once a month? You need more than that.

This is where developing a new circle of single friends becomes important. Start connecting with other singles so that you have friends that are in the same space, on the same life journey that you’re on. You can become great support for each other.

Be careful not to get too wrapped up in having to do everything with someone else. One of the biggest social traps I find many people in is that they feel they can’t do anything or go anywhere on their own.

Ladies, and guys too, venture out on your own from time to time. Go listen to that band you love to listen or dance to. Go to a charity event. Go to social gatherings. If you’re somewhere that you don’t know anyone, tell the host that you’re new and would like them to introduce you to a couple of people to start getting connected.

When you get invited to a party or event, don’t make excuses why you can’t go…unless you have plans to attend a different party. If you turn down enough invitations, you’ll stop being invited because they know you’ll just say no.

Sometimes you just have to force yourself to get out and be social. I find that, for me at least, I usually have a pretty good time when I have to force myself to go out and rarely am I disappointed that I went.

You never know who you’ll meet or run into when you get off the couch and get out. It just might be your soul mate!

I hope you’ll use this information to help you step out of your comfort zone and to be more proactive in your dating life.

Join me next week when I’ll talk about “Trust.”