Comfort can sometimes be defined as the ability to pass gas around our significant others. (Note: this isn’t so much a test for guys as we generally enjoy any excuse to do so. In fact, right now any guy reading this is ready to demonstrate to his significant other just how comfortable he is around them).

Backing up, not too long ago, we had a discussion on my message board about the importance of similar world views within relationships. A point that was brought up was how it’s one thing to have to go out and battle your worldview in “the world” but you don’t want to have those battles at home. This kind of brings to mind the idea of being able to breathe in a relationship.

We live in fear of being rejected for who we are or, more specifically, of finally revealing what we’re really like only to have people leave us. As much as we want to be known by others, we all have walls put in place to keep people out and keep ourselves from being hurt. It’s nice to be able to lower them, to find someone we can lower them around. When we can reach a relaxed level of comfort around our significant others, we can feel free to be ourselves, to be real.

This is one of those mystery elements to relationships. There are so many ways to be connected to people, from family, to casual acquaintance, to co-workers, to friends. Some people you have simply known forever or who it feels like they’ve known you forever. This deep sense of connection comes because they’ve seen you in ways others can’t or haven’t. They get you, sometimes without words. They let you change. They let you be.

There is an ingredient that is often difficult to explain to your friends about why you are with so-and-so. Your friends may see your significant other’s glaring faults, but the ability to be yourself around them is an intangible quality. But being comfortable, being able to relax and be yourself and be accepted can balance out a lot.

Finding that comfort can be difficult with friends—that easiness to the relationship, like when friends can enjoy a good silence between each other—much less significant others. Frankly, it is rare that we find those folks we can be comfortable around. Because there is so much artifice surrounding the game of dating, it takes time to get to that place where you can be genuine.

When you find that connection, it’s precious; and maintaining it can be work, but it’s the heart of the relationship. So, besides time, continual conversation can get you to this place. Talking, and more importantly, listening, are skills best developed as soon as possible. The sooner you can quit being so self conscious about yourself and the sooner you can stop thinking so much about how others view your relationship, the sooner you can learn how to just breathe about your significant other.

Or … not breathe. It took me nearly two years into my marriage before I could pass gas in front of my wife. I thought that was a major breakthrough in our relationship. She informed that she could live with one or two walls in our relationship.

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