What is the Purpose of a Relationship? 9 Primary Reasons We Seek Romance
When it comes down to it, we all want the same thing: connection – the most basic purpose of a relationship. It’s what drives us to pursue relationships with family and friends, look for love in romantic partners, connect with our core values, and seek out shared moments of joy. Connection is deeply ingrained within us as humans and spiritual beings. It compels us to reach out and nurture bonds with others, to be vulnerable with each other by providing support to one another, and to trust those dearest to contribute to our needs as they do their own. But connection with others is only one thread in the tapestry of relationship, and it’s not even the first.
When the purpose of a relationship is unconscious
While this may not be what you want to hear. Let’s be truly honest. Oftentimes, we believe the purpose of a relationship is to make us happy, to bring us love, and to complete what we feel is lacking in our lives. Think of the movie line “you complete me.” Too often the unconscious driving force behind seeking relationship is the feeling that something’s missing. This sense of empty longing can manifest itself in numerous painful ways that actually move us away from relationship – including repeated patterns of self abandonment, people pleasing, broken relationships, and heartache. We often think that something external will fulfill us when really the answer can be found within ourselves. Being fulfilled by another is not the purpose of being in a relationship.
Finding ourselves, knowing ourselves, honoring ourselves, and being complete in our own lives allows us to actually experience the true and conscious purposes of a relationship. While, as you know, society teaches us to seek completion by union with another, that completion happens as a result of connection with self first.
Because it’s so important. Let’s say this one more time very directly so that you can release any false notions about the purpose of a relationship and its ensuing love. The purpose of a relationship is not to make you happy or to make you feel loved. As you’ll see, the true purposes of a relationship rest upon your capacity to bring love and happiness to the connection.
“Self Love is the prerequisite, the precursor, the foundation of romantic love.”~Joanna Shakti
The 4 primary purposes of relationship
1. To teach us about love
Love has been a source of inspiration, consternation, and confusion throughout history. It’s the experience that defines closeness, even unity, in relationships. It can also feel at the same time elusive and hard to define or comprehend. Because love is so powerful and complex, we need a way to discover its truths, to feel its power personally.
There is no better way to learn the ins and outs of love than with a significant other. When it comes to romance, the #1 primary purpose of a relationship is to recognize what love is and what it isn’t. We have the opportunity to learn how to truly offer it unconditionally, and how to open our heart to receive love fully. A significant other and the relationship we have with them becomes our greatest teacher of love – if we are willing to learn.
2. To help us heal ourselves
All relationships, not just those with romantic partners, deliver to us some of the most complex and rewarding parts of life. They can also be full of potent, yet seemingly difficult, lessons. Yet, these lessons offer us the opportunity to heal, if we’re willing to be gentle with ourselves and our partner in the process.
Often well before we are ready for romantic interactions, we have developed our beliefs about love. Maybe we’ve questioned whether or not we are worthy or deserving of love. Maybe we decided that those we love leave. We might have experienced the ending of relationships, or a devastating loss, and now we don’t trust them to last. We might not feel good enough when it comes to real love.
Whatever pains we’ve suffered around love and connection, one of the deepest purposes of a relationship – particularly a soulful conscious romantic relationship – is to give us a chance to release those unconscious beliefs we carry that sabotage our ability to give or receive love. In the gentle compassionate care of conscious relationship, we have the opportunity to realize love doesn’t hurt and we are worthy of its blessings.
When two people come together in conscious love they each have the opportunity to heal trust issues, abandonment issues, self-confidence issues and so much more. Romantic relationships make us ripe for healing – if we have the courage.
3. For partnership and support
Life is a journey and many people who enter a relationship do so looking for a partner so they don’t have to “go it alone.” In and of itself, not wanting to go it alone is not a problem – one of the true gifts of romantic partnerships and marriages is to have a partner with which to share both the joys and the burdens innate in the ups and downs of life.
Partnering within your relationship doesn’t just mean being two halves that make up the whole – it means a collective blend of qualities that foster mutual respect and understanding between two individuals. It requires vulnerability and trust, and that can only be achieved through authenticity and honesty.
To receive the true support of a romantic partner and experience the benefit of this important purpose of a relationship, we must be willing to tell the truth about ourselves and what we want (or don’t want) throughout that relationship. And we must be heard and received and then we must offer the same to our partner regarding their truths and desires. We can have a romantic relationship without partnership (although it will ultimately feel unsatisfying) and we can have a partnership without romance, but neither lends to the types of intimacy available in soulful relationships.
When we are willing to truly partner in order to create an experience of interdependency, the lives of both partners can truly thrive.
4. To see the world in a new way
Often, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and forget that relationships can have a powerful influence on our understanding and appreciation for the world around us. Even if you’re happily single, or just not looking for love right now, understanding how relationships shape our perspective provides invaluable insight into the way we filter experiences and form opinions. By establishing meaningful relationships and learning how to empathize with others, we are empowered to take off our own personally tinted glasses and open ourselves to experiences that may have been previously hidden from view. Interestingly, being in a relationship can also offer us perspective on how others might perceive us, if we are open to that insight.
It’s through deep connections we discover different qualities within ourselves that lead us to explore new realms of self-contemplation and truth seeking, as well as new adventures on this great journey of life.
The deeper purposes of a relationship
5. To contribute to the the divineness of life
Whether we consciously realize it or not, divine contribution may be the greatest purpose of a relationship. When two people come together soulfully, it’s an incredible event – one that’s made even more special and powerful when the partnership gives back to the world. Many many people seek relationships knowing that through partnership they can make a bigger difference.
Of course one of the obvious ways a couple can contribute to the divineness of life happens if they choose to create or build a family as a result of their union. Beyond the beauty of family, a couple might take on projects or contribute to efforts that make life better for other human beings.
Even more precious, when two people come together in the deepest soul love, they become role models for divine love. Their demonstrations of the power and possibility of love and intimacy make it possible for others to also come to know and trust love in their own hearts. The relationship becomes an inspiration for those who wonder what soul love really is, and if it’s actually possible. Society needs more role models of conscious relationships. Will your relationship be one?
6. To know unity
Beyond the love we spoke of initially, within each of us lies a longing to feel the power of love that transcends all boundaries and brings us closer to our highest selves. As we find ourselves yearning for connection, understanding, and union with another we recognize on some fundamental level that through the intimacy of relationship we can truly touch our greatest potential. One of the deepest purposes of a relationship, from a spiritual perspective, drives us to seek the sacredness of Divine Union through soul partnership. In these powerful unions, together we help each other’s souls evolve to their highest expression and ecstasy.
7. To experience ecstasy (and not just the sexual kind)
Experiencing ecstasy in love, life, and in bed begins with the self love we mentioned earlier. Yet, as we look at the purpose of being in a relationship, a true soulful relationship amplifies within ourselves, and each other, the joy innately meant to arise in, and be known by, every soul. True joy and divine ecstasy have the capacity to shine within each of us, if we let it.
Of course, we can experience a form of ecstasy through sexuality, especially sacred sexuality, yet that sacred pleasure depends on ecstasy of heart – and ecstasy of self. In contrast, our misunderstanding of ecstasy can have us rush into a relationship, or into the bed of a lover, with the false belief that we will experience something ecstatic, only to feel dejected or upset shortly after. While the sex might have been great, it didn’t allow us to commune in the highest love. This happens because our expectation was out of alignment with our soul’s intention. Our soul always calls out for the soul-to-soul connection that brings ecstasy to heart, mind, body, and spirit. That kind of ecstasy takes commitment and work, but it’s so worth it.
8. For spiritual growth and evolution
Successful, committed romantic relationships can have an incredibly positive impact on our spirits. They invite us to courageously experience ourselves in a profoundly new way. The honesty and vulnerability that we both crave and resist within a union can lead to self-discovery, forgiveness, and liberation from our individual cages of fear and barriers to love. Ultimately by understanding ourselves better through our engagement with someone who knows us intimately – including both our highest aspirations or overly developed shadow aspects – we can unlock quickened paths towards enlightenment.
“By design, soul love is meant to evolve our souls, which means they are also designed to show us all of our barriers to love.”~Joanna Shakti
When we move beyond the unconscious, and ultimately sabotaging, reasons we look for, or grasp onto, a relationship, we can move into seeking or strengthening a relationship based on the true multidimensional purpose of a relationship.
When we embrace and cultivate these divine purposes we will be led into a deep ecstasy of the heart that will take our breath away over and over again, if we let it.
So if you’ve asked yourself, what is the purpose of being in a relationship, you are invited to take time to reflect on your own conscious and unconscious reasons you are in a relationship or seeking one. Ultimately, at its core, a soulful connection has the power and capacity to form an intimate bond where both individuals know the most exquisite love available on this human journey as each soul soars into its own unique and highest expression.
Since 2006, highly conscious men and women, with a commitment to extraordinary relationships, have chosen Ecstatic Intimacy to find and cultivate Soul Partnerships from their bedrooms to their boardrooms. Ecstatic Intimacy believes in coveted relationships, for all.
You too, are invited…
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.