Belonging and connection are two innate human needs that drive each and every one of us. Nevertheless, our lives are much different from the way our parents and grandparents used to live a few decades ago. Therefore we cannot blindly follow their example when it comes to building a relationship or partnership.
Let us explore together the new ways of creating intimacy and meaningful connection in the modern-day and age.
Traditional vs. Modern Definitions Of Partnership
Just a few decades ago it was commonplace for people to look at the partnership or relationship as a two-halves-make-a-whole dynamic. On the one hand, men are the breadwinners working outside the home. On the other hand, women are the ones taking care of the household and the kids.
A few decades ago it was also socially unacceptable to be in a partnership and have kids without being married. As a result, many couples would even stay together without “being together” just because they were married and had children. In comparison, modern types of partnership include civil partnership, as well as same-sex and open relationships (a.k.a. non-exclusive relationships).
As more and more men are exploring feminine energy and more and more women are stepping into their masculine side, things are beginning to change.
We want to be both assertive AND sensitive. We want to build a partnership with someone who can hold space for our successful AND vulnerable side. And as much as we value kindness and commitment, we also place importance on fun, adventure and freedom.
The New Rules Of Family Partnerships
First, a lot of people still choose to marry, but they have different expectations of marriage. Most of us realize the importance of choosing a partner wisely. So, we invest more time into getting to know each other before we decide to commit.
Second, our beliefs about relationships can vary dramatically. Therefore, it is crucial to discuss with our potential partner or spouse what we want from love. At the same time, we need to continuously improve our ability to manage differences. The new rules of partnership and relationships also include being honest, knowing your needs and boundaries and expressing them clearly.
Next, a lot of women are financially independent. And a lot of men help around the house. So, partners no longer depend on each other that much. They rather aim at building a connection that increases their capacity to feel alive, create and contribute in the world. In addition, it no longer feels reasonable to stay together because of the kids. Therefore, more and more couples go to family therapy, but also separate if they don’t manage to re-align with each other.
Interestingly enough, a lot of people who are in a committed relationship choose not to have kids. On the other hand, there are more and more couples who decide to adopt a kid from another country. Last, but not least, there are more and more countries where same-sex marriages are officially legal. Isn’t it amazing to realize how quickly things have changed?
To sum up, we have a lot of freedom when it comes to the realm of relationships. Yet, to benefit from this freedom we need to upgrade our relationship skills. So, whatever form of partnership you enter, keep on developing your capacity to communicate effectively and be an active partner.