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Relationships need a purpose. That is to say, both parties to the encounter need a common reason for being there, otherwise the experience can degrade into something self-serving for people who are mutually using one another. Yet it's astonishing how rare it is for people to work with a tangible shared purpose. Raising children and paying the mortgage can fill in for a while, though it needs to go deeper. You might ask yourself what the purpose of each of your relationships is—especially the thing you consider your primary relationship. If you don't have one of those and are looking for one, you might ask yourself why that is. If the answer is companionship, what's the nature of that? Is it about completing something missing within you, or is it the desire to co-create? Do you have some mutual purpose related to service? Do you have a healing agenda that you can share with a close partner? That would serve your purposes well. When we say love, we mean trust, and trust is about understanding that your presence in someone's life is to make their life better, as is their presence in yours. As you orient on this, you'll be taken to a deeper emotional level than you may be accustomed to going, especially in recent years. Hang in with this purpose, and with the people you care about.

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