The Significant Other Alliance (The Power in Partnership)

We, as a sophisticated social species have a strong desire for belonging to a bigger group than just ourselves, as it allows us to feel stronger, more powerful and interconnected than we would feel just as an individual. We are designed to be intertwined with others, usually through common ground or the communicating of our personal experiences. When we are in a relationship we are defined as a partnership, thus we belong to something bigger than just ourselves. The significant other alliance encapsulates all the ideals of belonging to a group as we engage in frequent social interactions, as well as the sharing our personal experiences too. 

Most of the relationships we have involve some degree of intimacy, whether it be psychological, physical or emotional. However, the significant other relationship is formed when we become connected on all the levels of intimacy and most notably through proximal physical and emotional contact with one another. Whilst the love hormone oxytocin fuels romance and the powerful connection you feel toward your partner during physical intimate moments, it also results in the increased release of dopamine. Dopamine can be released when thinking and being around our significant other and provides us with a sense of contentment, allowing us to feel at our most powerful.

Power in relationships can be a double-edged sword. The best alliances are the ones where two people are not competing against one another but are rather interdependent on one another. Competing against your significant other creates friction and can restrict you both from connecting on other levels of intimacy. Constantly ‘one-upping’ your significant other and trying to be better than them will break down the strength you have together as a partnership, as you are grinding down one another’s ego and the ability to believe in yourself as well as each other. However, if you are to support your partner and the same is reciprocated, your connection will be further deepened. Being interdependent, does not stretch to mean dependent and relying on your significant other constantly, but rather elaborating on the give-and-take relationship allowing you both to communicate freely, no matter how difficult. 

Whilst communication plays a vital role in a relationship and can be a difficult hurdle to jump, trust and commitment are also vital attributes to the significant other alliance. In fact, trust, commitment and communication act as a trio for creating powerful alliances between two people. Trust is built upon authenticates and accessing the vulnerabilities of one another. Commitment is of course the main ongoing and non-linear attribute to any partnership. Trust and commitment go hand in hand as when one increases so does the other. Furthermore, when we communicate our vulnerabilities and doubts in one’s trust and commitment to our significant other, it allows us to strengthen our partnership, as together you can assess the boundaries and decide what is beneficial and detrimental both individually and as a couple. 

Your significant other is the person with whom you share a considerable amount with, from your time to your favourite food. They are the person you turn to in periods of uncertainty and you rely on them to tell you things are going to be okay and that ‘we’ will get through this, even when it is just an individual problem. When we join forces we are much stronger, we strike the balance between being supportive and being intuitive. We are aware of our partner and how things will make them feel and how we can sometimes be the influence on their decisions, but we ultimately help our partners to feel more powerful when we are in support of them.

 

References 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/pascal-vrticka/human-social-development_b_3921942.html

https://www.medicaldaily.com/oxytocin-love-hormone-fuels-romance-how-your-brain-works-when-youre-love-269067

https://www.vlerick.com/en/research-and-faculty/knowledge-items/knowledge/the-power-of-partnership-why-do-some-strategic-alliances-succeed-while-others-fail