Relationship Enrichment

relationship enrichment

Love and Relationships

We all know the importance of relationships. We are conceived in relationship, born in relationship, and deeply dependent on relationships throughout life. Love is a fundamental reality of relationship. Most people “know” they are loved and “know” that they love. However, love must be experienced, felt in actual moments of connection for the full nutrient value to reach the heart and soul.

Recognizing the Importance of Felt-Love Moments

These love-connections are what we seek for in our close relationships, often without knowing this is what we yearn for. Felt-love-moments are those moments, which can be with anyone from stranger to spouse, where two people feel a connection with each other. For a moment in time, the guard is down, usually there is eye contact and both individuals know they are having a special moment. These moments provide emotional nutrition, and are important for a strong sense of well-being. Appreciating and cultivating these moments, especially in important relationships, is essential to our health and well-being.

Appreciating How Our Brain is Nourished

In the context of a parent-infant relationship, these moments of attuned connection literally stimulate chemical responses that result in synaptic growth of certain aspects of the brain. Without a sufficient dose of these felt-love moments, the infant’s ability to develop capacities of self-regulation, control of fear, empathy, a good moral compass, trust in the heart, gut feelings, self-soothing, self-reflection and response flexibility are diminished. Even throughout the entire lifespan, these connections nourish the brain.

Deepening Our Capacity for Emotional and Sexual Intimacy

An adult human being who continues to grow into self-regulation, control of fear, empathy, a good moral compass, trust in the heart, gut feelings, self-soothing, self-reflection and response flexibility becomes more capable of experiencing deep emotional and sexual intimacy. This means we can reveal ourselves to another human being openly, transparently, from the heart with truth, clarity and vulnerability. We can be tender or firm, both fully able to say no, and fully able to receive love, affection or feedback.

When two individuals can be fully themselves, not truncated or rigidified in their identity, nor racked with shame or guilt, the sexual connection in the context of a committed relationship, can continue to be extraordinarily nurturing for decades without boredom or infidelity.

Good relationships are an integral part of good health—mental and physical.