Being In Relationship

It's not about dating apps

John Walter 📣
4 min readSep 20, 2022


Image created by author on Midjourney

Dating apps convince you that you are doing a relationship, but that is quite a different thing from being in a relationship.

Being in relationship

We will take a few steps back and look at everything it takes to be in a relationship with others. Maybe you can dump the apps and start living a life where you nurture your relationship with yourself first, and every other relationship flows from that.

Take a few more steps back to see the moment you were born. Yeah, that moment. The only relationship you had was with your mother from the inside to the outside. All sorts of stuff can kick off there. You are ripe for abandonment, neglect, abuse or being hurt. Maybe you were lucky and got a lovely big dose of care and attention, and then a bit further down the line, it all went a bit weird. Yeah, I can't seem to write even one sentence with a fairytale ending.

Whatever you had to go through was your relationship training ground. Every cell in your body grew in childhood and took on patterns and relationships from your environment.

Childhood is your training ground for relationships

My family were not touchy-feely. My parents restricted physical contact to functionality. A boil on the bum meant I could lie across my mum's lap while she took a needle to it. Being a bit pathetic at drying myself after a bath meant I got a good roughing up with a towel.

I needed touch then, and I still need it now. Do those strategies born of neediness still creep into every relationship? You bet they do.

What have you dragged from your childhood into every adult relationship?

Do all your romantic partners start out wonderful and then begin to metamorphose into someone with many similar characteristics to one or both of your parents?

Lots of things are going on here. Your childhood is your training ground for relationships. You learn how to interpret and live with your emotions in connection with those around you as a child.



John Walter 📣

Counsellor, jazz musician, AI Art nerd, bereaved father. Writing about my experience. Listening to yours.