I have a friend that lives over 900 miles away. Consequently, we don’t see each other much. But when we do converse, the dialogue always ends with the following phrase. “I hope we can connect soon.” I have always liked that. But I never gave much thought to the meaning behind what was being said.
I read an excellent article today regarding the correlation between healthy relationships and addictive behavior. The writer made two significant points. The first one is no big surprise. Human beings have a deep need to connect and form meaningful interpersonal bonds. He goes on to make the point that addictive behavior can be the result of an inability to experience this level of friendship and intimacy. (I have a reaction to that, but it should be the basis for another blog on another day!)
As I reflected on his conclusions, it occurred to me that socializing is relatively easy. That’s especially true for those of us that have leanings toward extraversion. But connecting is not so easy… Bonding with another person is another story.
Socializing is fun. I love to hang out and cut up. I can even have leanings toward being a prankster as I socialize. I plan to continue to socialize on a very regular basis.
But I have some work to do when it comes to connecting and forming bonds. Connections are formed when there is a foundation of trust. Such foundations are not constructed overnight. Bonds are solidified when there is a commitment to the relationship. And that takes time and energy. And we cannot fully bond as long as we allow emotional walls to break the links in the process of connecting.
I think my friend is right. “I hope we can connect soon.” If that were stated in a different way, it could be said: “I hope we can pick up our process of bonding next time we talk.” I think it’s time to stop taking the path of least resistance by socializing only and move toward more lifelong connections.