Beyond Chitchat: Seven Levels of Connection

In the world of dating, many singles find it challenging to establish meaningful levels of connection. Despite the wealth of dating advice available, creating a deep and genuine bond with someone can often feel like an elusive goal. In this article I will address this common struggle by breaking down the seven levels of intimacy as outlined by Matthew Kelly. By understanding and applying these levels in a step-by-step manner, singles can navigate the complexities of dating and learn the art of achieving deeper connections.

Level 1: Cliches

Welcome to the starting line! This is where you engage in small talk to break the ice. Picture this: you’re on your first date, sipping coffee, and you say, “The traffic getting here was unbelievable.” “Any exciting plans for this weekend? ” or “Isn’t the weather just perfect today?”

Congratulations, you’ve just navigated the first level of connection!

Level 2: Facts

As you get more comfortable with each other, it’s time to share some fun facts about yourself. Maybe you tell your date, “My older brother got married last week,” or “I work as a graphic designer and I love the creative aspect of my job.” or “I enjoy hiking and recently completed a challenging trail in Bear Mountains.”

Sharing these tidbits helps your date get to know you better.

Level 3: Opinions

Now things are getting interesting! It’s time to share your views and beliefs. “I think small businesses contribute more to community than larger corporations.” or “I believe everyone should take a solo vacation at least once in their life.” or “I think our president belongs in an old age home, not in the white house.”

Remember, it’s all about respect and understanding each other’s perspectives.

Level 4: Hopes and Dreams

Feeling a deeper connection? Great! Now, it’s time to discuss your aspirations and dreams. Maybe you share, “I hope to get my PHD one day.” or “One of my dreams is to become a published author.” or “My goal is to save enough money to buy a house within the next 5 years.”

Sharing your dreams can bring you closer and might even reveal shared goals.

Level 5: Feelings

As your relationship becomes more serious, it’s time to wear your heart on your sleeve. Express your feelings towards each other. This could be as simple as saying, “I feel really happy when I’m with you.” or “I felt overwhelmed when I first started my new job, but now I’m starting to feel more confident.” or “I get really overwhelmed and anxious in large social events.”

Achieving this level of intimacy can only be accomplished by openly expressing your emotions, whether they be joy, sadness, fear, or excitement, and being empathetic and understanding when others share their feelings as well.

Level 6: Faults, Fears, and Failures

This level involves being vulnerable and sharing your insecurities, fears, and past mistakes. It might be scary, but it’s also a sign of trust. You might say, “I’ve struggled with self-doubt in the past and I sometimes fear that I’m not good enough.” or “I’m scared of failing, so sometimes I don’t even try.” or “One of my biggest regrets is not speaking up in meetings. I’m working on being more assertive.”

At this deeper level, you share your vulnerabilities, fears, and past failures with each other. Achieving this level of intimacy requires trust and a willingness to be open and honest about personal shortcomings and past struggles.

Level 7: Legitimate Needs

Finally, we reach the deepest level of intimacy. Here, you discuss your needs and expectations in the relationship. This could be about your need for space, quality time, or understanding. For example, “I need open and honest communication in our relationship.” or “I need to feel understood.” or “I need you to validate me not try to fix me.”

The highest level of intimacy involves being able to share one’s legitimate needs with others. This can include expressing the need for support, validation, understanding, and love. Achieving this level of intimacy involves creating a safe and trusting environment where you each can openly express and fulfill each other’s genuine needs.

Understanding and applying these seven levels of intimacy can significantly enhance the depth and quality of connections in the dating phase of a relationship. This step-by-step guide serves as a practical tool for singles navigating the dating landscape, teaching them how to build meaningful and genuine bonds. Remember that each relationship is unique, and the pace at which these levels are achieved can vary greatly. You can learn more about communication in relationships here:

Here’s to deeper connections and more fulfilling relationships.

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