As human beings we long for social relationships, even if we don’t consciously believe that. There is a reason single people, young and old, are happier when they have a pet, dog or cat. We were born and we will die seeking to maintain a relationship.
Without a sense of belonging we can experience various negative consequences. We feel lost and alone, which often triggers sadness, anxiety and depression. We tend to feel incomplete, unhappy and we often question why do we try so hard in life if there is no one to share it with. A sense of belonging is crucial to our well-being.
So, how to maintain a relationship? Research indicates that successful couples spend 5 hours a week in conversation with each other. In addition to this there are a few things you might consider doing to boost the amount of time spent with each other.
Start with taking 5 minutes a day, each, expressing gratitude and appreciation for your partner and what they do. Expressed gratitude is very powerful and positive. Pick a time you can do this everyday, the same time every time, this builds a routine. Start the conversation with gratitude, and then report to each other what is happening, discuss some issue that you have noticed and end talking about your hopes and dreams.
A morning routine should include a real hug, one in which you are really present and feeling it. It should also include each of you finding out at least one thing the other is doing that day and perhaps something that they will be doing to have fun and one thing that is on their mind/concerns. In the evening there should be a reunion routine; a kiss and hug. 15 minutes to discuss the day and its events in a non-stressful manner.
Remember, physical touch is essential to our well-being and to feeling of belonging. Whatever you decide, the need to belong is inherent in us, we all desire to feel like we ‘fit’ somewhere with someone. To belong is to feel a reason to be involved in our own life and to be involved in our life is to be alive. To be alive is to feel that you belong.