August 1, 2023
Relationships - Finding Your People
Relationships are absolutely one of my favorite aspects of being human. It is, of course, one of the main aspects of being human because we are social creatures and are nothing without each other. If anything, COVID showed us that we cannot exist without one another and that we are all 100% interdependent and connected, whether we like it or not. 

Relationships are absolutely one of my favorite aspects of being human. It is, of course, one of the main aspects of being human because we are social creatures and are nothing without each other. If anything, COVID showed us that we cannot exist without one another and that we are all 100% interdependent and connected, whether we like it or not. 

There are so many things that we can talk about with regards to relationships, but we're going to be breaking this down into two parts. This first part that we're diving into is about what it means to find our people. 

Some of you might know that I moved up to the Hudson Valley with my now fiancé about six months ago. We had both been living in Brooklyn for many, many years, and we were so excited that we were now taking this new step in our relationship and in our own lives. Becoming homeowners and moving outside the city really felt like we were becoming a new level of adults. And it was so thrilling - it is still thrilling. But one thing that we overlooked in this journey and this next step of ours was (1) how much pressure this was going to add to our relationship together and (2) we are the only two people that we knew up here.

There's so many resources out there about making friends, especially as adults after we shifted out of the growing stages of youth, and we're now in this kind of repetition of work, hobbies, and life outside of work - whatever it may be for you. 

When I think about building new relationships, and what I've been thinking about since I've been up here in this new environment, is what is the environment that I most want to be in now as a developing human? When I was a kid, I had no choice. I had to be in school and I had that as a shared experience with my friends. And that's how we often find friends, right? We're either in the same job or we're in the same classes studying the same things, or parents have the shared experience of picking their kids up from school on a regular basis and going to their extracurricular activity along with other parents.

But as an adult without children and as an adult with just my significant other, my romantic partner, I have the decision and the options to be able to say this is who I am now and these are the interests that I want to explore, and the spaces that I want to spend my time the most in. And that is the first step into finding the people who are likely going to connect with. 

Step 1: Define Your Values & Interests

Discovering your people starts with knowing yourself. Identify your core values and interests, and seek out environments where those values are celebrated. Whether it's a yoga class, a meditation studio, a kick-ball team or a local book club,  these spaces attract like-minded individuals with shared passions.

Step 2: Trust Your Gut

The next step in finding your people is tapping into the felt experience. We can meet people all day, every day, who share our interests, but what is the felt experience of your connection?  I think we all know what it's like to be around people who inhibit us in some way - where we're in physical or verbal dialogue with the other person and we recognize that there's kind of a heightened level of anxiety or a repression of what we can say or what we want to say. 

When you meet someone new, pay attention to your physical sensations and emotions. The right people will make you feel safe, relaxed, and genuinely yourself. Trust your intuition when it comes to building connections that feel authentic and resonate with you on a deeper level.

Step 3: Be Vulnerable & Communicate

The next step requires us to share ourselves in a more intimate way. Vulnerability is key to fostering deeper connections. Openly share your needs, boundaries, and desires with those you're building relationships with. Authenticity paves the way for mutual respect and understanding. Remember, the other person can't read your mind, so it's essential to communicate honestly.

By doing so, you are creating a safer space, a safer foundation for both of you, to know that when you come together, you will be seen and responded to in a way that you need. And this is how you can maintain staying on the same page with another person as you move forward and develop your relationship and your bond. 

Step 4: Cultivate Reciprocity

Step four is all about the balance of giving and receiving - building your relationships on reciprocity and shared experiences. Give and receive kindness, support, and attention. Emulate the qualities you seek in others, and you'll naturally attract those who reflect your values.

Step 5: Embrace Conflict & Growth

Lastly, and we’ll address this more in Part 2, we need to embrace the inevitability of conflict. Conflict can be an essential catalyst for growth in relationships. Don't shy away from addressing issues or expressing your needs. Healthy conflict resolution leads to deeper connections and a more profound understanding of one another.

Reflection

  • I would love for you to think about what relationships mean to you on a heartfelt level. What do your closest bonds mean to you?
  • If you're currently seeking new connections, whether it's friendship or romantic partnership, ask yourself: How willing are you to be open, vulnerable, and giving of yourself? How would it feel to be that giver? What would it feel like to be received? 
  • Take a moment to think about past relationships. Which ones truly fulfilled your needs? Make a list of the qualities and experiences that you want to pursue in future relationships. Additionally, reflect on relationships that didn't support or honor you. Identify the red flags or signs that you now know to avoid.

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If you're in a similar situation as I am at the moment, longing to connect and find community, remember finding your people is not a race. You will naturally attract the people you are meant to encounter.  As you work to understand yourself on a foundational level, take pleasure in expressing your most authentic self in spaces that bring you joy. By doing so, you will naturally draw like-minded individuals who support your journey of authenticity and growth.

Trust that by being yourself and fearlessly pursuing your passions, you will attract the right souls into your life.

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