When we begin a relationship, we always put our best foot forward. We present ourselves in a positive light, and minimize anything that we deem as a personal flaw. Ever dressed to the tens, we wouldn’t dare be caught looking frumpy or unkept! It’s simply a no-no in the dating scene.

Couples search to find commonality- and let’s face it, some of us have faked interests. How many women have feigned an interest in sports just to peek the interest of a hunky guy? Or, men, who hasn’t sat through a chick flick just because it makes her happy? We all have! But at a certain point, we need to be real about who we are. If we are not, things will come crashing down… maybe not today, but soon.

How crushing would it be to discover that the person you married isn’t who you thought they were? What if you discovered that you married an image- but not a real person? Many relationships begin with a superficial image, and that’s okay for a time. You don’t want to be too open, too fast. Yet, there are some relationships that stay on a surface level and never go deeper.

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At first, it is fine because you are still in the honeymoon phase. However, eventually, it will wear off. There are some commonalities that are important in a relationship. Faith is one of them. Same with whether or not to have children. If you weren’t truthful in some of these, it can be a real dealbreaker.

Moreover, if characteristics were… embellished, you may find that you feel betrayed because the person that you married is not the person that you thought that they were. A man who says that he is good with money, yet overspends in marriage puts undue stress in the relationship if he doesn’t seek help. Or a woman who seems so selfless which dating suddenly becomes very demanding in marriage may be shocking to her husband. He ends up feeling deceived.

How do you go deeper in a relationship? What if I am afraid?

Yet was really damages a relationship is not necessarily the untruths that we tell each other in the beginning. Marriages truly become stunted if we remain on a superficial level. If we cannot open up to each other, if communication is oppressive, aggressive, or argumentative, it hampers true intimacy. You don’t notice this in the beginning of a marriage because you are in the first stage of love. You are getting to know each other. However, if it doesn’t go beyond the surface- if you are kept at arm’s length, things are limited.

A lack of true vulnerability hampers intimacy. Some people are happy for their relationship to be on this level. He does his thing, and she does hers. It is functional, but it won’t go to a deeper level. It will forever be on the surface. The hot passion that was evident from the beginning with dwindle and be replaced with complacency. It will be a meh relationship.

Shanta Chester discusses what happens when we are open and vulnerable in a relationship. She discusses what happens when we move past the superficial and really start connecting with our spouse. Shanta talks about how the dynamic changes, deepens, and becomes long-lasting.

And, oh yeah, the passion? When we are open and vulnerable, it’s off the charts!

This feature and more in our February issue of Faith Filled Family Magazine coming out on January 26, 2021!

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