the importance of common ground

Photo by Dennis Hamilton

I think I’m back.  Maybe.

Edits are figured out.  All that’s left is the work.  I think I can do that and keep up with the social media thing at the same time.  This means I’ll be gradually adding it back into my life, one site at a time.

It also means, I post today on my blog.  And the topic I feel like writing about today is the elusive “common ground” in a relationship.

Everyone wants it.  Some couples think they’ve lost it.  In thinking about it today, I realized there are three areas where this common ground can appear.  I’m writing it out as a way of making up for my earlier post where I just kind of rambled.  So, here they are:

Likes  This can be as deep as “We both like the same spiritual thinkers” all the way to “We both like candy!”  When I was younger, I thought this was a good basis for a relationship.  Not the best perhaps, but it was a start.  I mean, you have to have stuff you can do together, right?  Now that I’m older, I still believe it’s a start and that’s all.  Any couple who appears to remain at this level will often, when examined, show signs of the other two necessaries.

Past  This can mean the two grew up together in the same town.  It could also mean they both have gone through similar events in their life.  Sometimes they can be joyous experiences, often they’re not.  We see another’s pain and, recognizing it, stick around and see if we can help.  While deeper than Likes, sharing something in our past doesn’t necessarily give the best foundation, from what I’ve seen in my life.  A couple needs something more.

Goals  This made little sense to me when I was younger.  When my husband was still just my fiance, he said he didn’t want to be one of those couples who just kind of hang out with each other.  He wanted to build something.

In our case, “building” means creating a family and helping our children grow up to be contributing members of society.  Because of our religious beliefs, it also means believing that the family we build here will continue with us through eternity.

Every successful couple I’ve seen, religious or not, has something they’re trying to build together.  The ones who aren’t successful discover either that one of them has no interest in building, or that they’re both trying to create something independently.  Whatever that goal is that a couple decides on must be a priority with both of them, and it must involve both of them, working together.

Disclaimer: I have no experience whatsoever as a counselor, nor am I an expert in relationships.  The above does not constitute advice or counseling.  It’s just my observations.



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