The Seven Levels of Intimacy
The Seven Levels of Intimacy
COMMON INTERESTS ARE NOT ENOUGH
OUR INTERESTS CHANGE
C ommon interests aren't enough to create a dynamic relationship. They can be a part of one, certainly, but they don't guarantee the success of a relationship. Interests change. People lose interest in different things, and if the strongest bond you have with a person is your common interests, he or she might lose interest in you when his or her interests change.
Every day relationships break down and people break up. Some people end relationships because they don't feel fulfilled. Others break up when they are not growing. Some break up when they are challenged to grow and don't want to change. Others meet someone else who at that moment seems more appealing for any number of reasons. Some people end a relationship because they simply get bored. And some break up for reasons that they are either unaware of or stunningly unable to articulate.
Too often we spend too much time asking or wondering why it didn't work out. Why do friendships end? Why do people break up? These are great questions, but surely the more important question is, What keeps people together? And not just together, but together in dynamic relationships. For the primary goal of relationships is not simply to stay together. Many people succeed in staying together but have failed relationships: their relationships are surviving but not thriving.
Common interests are not enough to build a great relationship on. You may enjoy hiking together or traveling together, biking together or listening to live music together. You may share a love of movies, museums, art, animals, or any number of interests that can draw people together. But it is a mistake to think that these provide a solid foundation for a long-term relationship. In fact, common interests can very often turn out to be a false foundation, creating the illusion of a deeper relationship than was actually present.
Common interests quite simply are not enough to build a dynamic long-term relationship upon. You need a common purpose. If we are going to further our understanding of relationships, questions such as, Why do people break up? and What keeps people together? are great questions. But it is pointless to try to experience the deeper realities of relationship unless we are willing to start with the most fundamental question: What is the meaning and purpose of relationship? Any attempt to improve our understanding and deepen our experience of relationship without first thoroughly examining this question is an exercise in futility of monumental proportions.
What keeps people together in dynamic relationships? A common purpose. Why do people break up? Because they have no sense of common purpose; or they lose sight of their common purpose; or their common purpose becomes unimportant to them.
So in order to create extraordinary relationships we have to develop a common understanding of a shared purpose. But before we can understand the purpose of our relationships, we must first understand our purpose as individuals.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
W hat is the meaning of life? What are we here for? What is the purpose of our existence? Modern popular culture proclaims directly and indirectly every day that life is merely a pleasure-seeking exercise. "If it feels good, do it" seems to be the credo. It is this same voice of popular culture that creates the confusion between sex and intimacy, between common interests and a dynamic relationship, and that perpetuates a thousand other myths and illusions that lead men and woman ever deeper into the despair of purposelessness. There is nothing more depressing than not knowing your purpose.
Our essential purpose is to become the-best-version-of-ourselves.
This one principle will bring more clarity to your life than all you have ever learned put together-and, more than that, it will