The things that we do in order to have harmonious and friendly relationships with others so that we can be happy and get what we want from life is ‘getting along’. It’s how we attempt to meet our emotional needs, which include safety and security, intimacy, connection, status, amongst others, and this makes our ability to get along a critical life skill. 

While we’re all socialised to engineer our life and engage in our relationships to best meet our needs, we all have different ways of achieving the same aims.

One person might meet their need for attention by spending time with a friend with whom there’s a mutual interest in each other’s lives. Someone else, on the other hand, might meet that same need by spending the evening exchanging steamy images with somebody they started chatting with that evening on a dating site/app. Or… they might pick a fight with a loved one. Same need, different approaches and, of course, different levels of satisfaction

The level of awareness of our needs ranges from non-existent to high and our competency, not just in advocating for our needs but also in our ability to meet them for ourselves, can have varying degree of success.

If we have high awareness of our needs but we haven’t learned how to meet these for ourselves, including self-care and how to make the choices that are in harmony with our needs, we’re likely to have high expectations of romantic partners. This will then lead to frustration, disappointment and codependency (feeling excessively emotionally reliant on others; not knowing where we end and others begin). We might experience something many of us fear: being called ‘needy’. We’ll also get along with people for the wrong reasons. This is typically because we’re trying to ‘get’ or avoid something, which only further fuels codependency. As we run into various issues, it causes us to question our desirability

None of us are handed a manual with step-by-step instructions on how to make our way through life. When we acknowledge this, we can make things easier on ourselves. We reocgnise that how we get on with others is one of life’s handy little vehicles for getting to know ourselves better so that we can grow. 

Getting along is critical to us humans because, aside from us all desiring acceptance and fearing rejection, our ability to get on allows us to advance our relationships and opportunities.

If we can get on with someone with whom we share attraction and a desire for a similar type of relationship over an extended period of time, we can realise long-term desires and goals that we couldn’t do with someone we’ve only known for a hot minute, or that we can’t get on with, or that we’re unable to do on our own. 

Getting along basically greases the wheels of dating: those things we do in the early stages of romantic involvement to get to know a prospective partner, to ascertain our level of interest, and to discern the potential for whatever level of relationship we’re looking for.

What greases the wheels of relationships, romantic and otherwise, though, is compatibility. So, it’s not enough to ‘get along’. We can do that with a lot of people. We need to go deeper, which means we need to be ourselves and see others. If we do, and it’s harmonious, we know we share core values where it counts and have gone beyond superficiality. We’ll meet our emotional needs.

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