In general, we, human beings, are wired for social connection. The dilemma arises when we can’t define what sort of connection we need, be it mental (intellectual stimulation, shared interests), emotional connection (mutual understanding, vulnerability), spiritual (complementary worldviews, shared values), physical (affection, bonding, intimacy), or romantic (deeper mutual investment, commitment).
Most people who we actively choose to keep in our inner circles tend to fill at least one role to some extent. However, if we don’t get enough of our needs met, loneliness happens and we often end up putting too many expectations on our current connections: family, partners, friends. Because there is a tendency to want all our needs met by a select few, It’s easy to lose sight of what value they bring to our lives and focus on what we aren’t getting from them.
Thoughts for the Week
So, it really comes down to four questions. Do the pros outweigh the cons in the relationship ( is it toxic or stable?)? What value do you get from the interaction? Are there other avenues to get certain needs appropriately addressed? And last but not least, what do you bring to the table?