File photo: Do you and your partner meet those standards based on your communication style? Picture: Pixabay

There are many ways to connect with your partner and have a fulfilled relationship. Educate yourself on how connecting on many levels is different to communication if you want to set realistic expectations.

This week’s question comes from Tenielle in Bloemfontein:

“When two people enjoy completely different things as hobbies, and hardly do outings together but have a fairly good relationship - what are your thoughts on such communication? Is this living on the edge and cause for concern?”

Answer: It seems as if you are happy in your relationship already. It also appears that you are curious about whether your communication style is potentially problematic.

If you can answer these two questions, Tenielle, you can determine how your relationship communication will unfold in the future. Those questions are: What is the benchmark for a continuous happy relationship, and: Do you and your partner meet those standards based on your communication style?

To answer it you need to grasp the four levels of connection that matter between partners: Physical, intellectual, emotional and spritual. Young relationships focus on the physical connection and as time progress they discover that the other levels of connection through experiences that unfold. As such the level of connection you share with your partner will change for your needs to be met at each level.

What works today might or not work for you tomorrow. However, the most important aspect to understand is that there is a mutual agreement between you of what your expectations of each other are.

This means that if you are happy without having to spend time together doing the same hobbies, you are blessed to have a happy relationship because all your current needs have been met.

In order to be happy in the future I recommend you share your needs when they change with your partner. How much you communicate does not matter in terms of having a happy relationship.

What matters is whether or not you meet each other’s need for connection on the mentioned levels as they arise. What we need today might not be what we need tomorrow. And sometimes we do not realise we need to meet them at first.

The reason our needs change is because nothing stays the same except the fact that everything keeps changing. That means you will evolve and the person you are today will be slightly different to the person you become tomorrow.

If you are satisfied in your relationship and have great chemistry with your partner there might be a time when you develop a need for emotional connection as with the other connection levels as well. Some women never get that from their partners and rely on their mothers, sisters and friends. A lot will depend on how you are taught to play your role as a woman in your relationship and what you can expect from you’re your partner’s role.

Just as we have roles, our partners are also taught about what is important for them to fulfil their duties. Some people are just not equiped to connect on an emotional level and deal with theirs on their own.

Your happiness depends on whether your expectations are met by your partner on each of these levels as per your expectation.

If you do not expect him to meet a certain need, and you are in the habit of meeting that need yourself, you are set up to be happy in your relationship. But, perhaps some awareness makes you believe that he is supposed to meet a certain need, you will have an unmet expectation.

Expectations that are not met leads to our experience of our relationship, both happy and unhappy. It all comes back to what we want from our relationships. If you are asking whether its a cause for concern, my answer is “No”. If you want to ensure your happiness, aspire to meet your own needs in the future * and your relationship will bring you joy for its own sake.

Saturday Star

* Adelé Green provides answers here when posted on or confidential, fee-for-service, individual coaching via Skype to men and women. She is a Transformation Specialist Coach and author of ‘Can You See Me Naked: Grow in a conscious relationship’. Also listen to #360Brunch on on Sundays.