Bonding is the name for the connection you make in your mind between the good feeling you get from satisfying a need, and whatever or whomever provides that satisfaction. You have many needs, as any human being does. Anything that provides you with the satisfaction of your need is bonded to you by the feeling you get from satisfying the need.

You have a strong need to pair up with a partner. When you find a partner who is willing to pair with you, you feel a feeling (love) as the need is satisfied. Your partner is what made that feeling possible for you and you attach (bond) the feeling to your partner.


During infatuation, the feeling of love is very intense. You want to shout it out, to paint it on the wall, to quickly share it with your partner. After infatuation, the feeling is subtler. It can pass without notice if you let it. You can learn to recognize it each time you feel it and can learn to mark it by sharing it with your partner. You can do it with a touch, a look, a sound, or any sign that your partner will recognize. Your long-term relationship will benefit by building as large a reservoir of shared positive bonds as you can.


The need for a pair bond may be the most intense of all the needs we humans have. You have a need for a pair bond. The intensity of that need is variable from one person to another, but you have a need for a pair bond. When you meet your partner, you feel the intense satisfaction that comes from satisfying that intense need. That feeling you get when you satisfy it is the feeling we call love. That kind of love differs from other loves that you have. You can love your job, your boat, your car, and the love you feel is different from the love you feel for your partner. You can love a friend or many friends, and the feeling you get is different from the love you feel for your partner. You need friends, and you need a partner. Each need is different, and the feeling you get when you satisfy that need is different.

Every time you feel that feeling of satisfaction (love), you’re creating another shared positive experience (a positive bond) with your partner. Love grows as you create more positive bonds. If you have one, it’s love. If you have ten, your love grows. As you have 100, your love grows more still.

The more intense the feeling of satisfaction, the stronger the positive bond that’s formed. So, the value of infatuation is that it creates very intense positive bonds out of situations that might otherwise be very ordinary.

Sometimes you probably have a negative experience with your partner. For example, you and your partner have a fight, and your partner withdraws. Your satisfaction of your need is momentarily threatened. You feel an intense feeling (maybe fear, anger, loneliness, grief, etc.), as your satisfaction is threatened. This also causes a negative bond. In this case, your partner is bonded to you by a very intense negative feeling. With time, and more disagreements, you accumulate a larger and larger body of bad feelings that bond you to your partner.

What if: Bonds are Only Sexual

Sex does not hurt bonding; it just isn’t enough by itself. When the only bonds are sexual, the relationship is fragile. Sex is the basis for good solid bonds if the feeling that is satisfied is love, and not simply the need for sexual gratification.

If you learn to mark your positive bonds by becoming aware of the feeling of love every time it comes to you, and mark it by communicating it, then you will build a large reservoir of shared positive experiences of the feeling of love, in addition to the sexual bonds.

What if: You Have Many Positive Bonds, but Many Negative Bonds Also

You and your partner are probably bonded with very powerful positive bonds, as well as some very painful negative bonds. In thinking about your partner you can get in touch with the good and joyful feelings, as well as the painful feelings, along with the feelings of turmoil connected with the relationship.

You need to learn to mark the positive bonds, and to handle negative feelings in such a way that they wouldn’t cast any doubts upon your feelings of love for your partner.

Learn a coping strategy, in order to build a solid, loving and satisfying relationship day by day. As time goes by, you will build more powerful positive bonds, and the force of the negative bonds will dissipate as they are no longer being reinforced.

What if: You Were Bonded with Exciting Romantic Events; Now Nothing

Perhaps you have mixed up the magic of your partner with the magical events you have shared. When infatuation wears off, you may assume the magic of your partner was really not there, only the magic of the places and sights you experienced together. You might conclude that because now that you aren’t going many places, the excitement is gone. The answer to the problem comes from understanding that the magic really came from your feelings for your partner. The places were incidental.

Spend an hour by yourself, getting in touch with your feelings of love for your partner. Write down each time you can remember that special feeling. On a separate list, record each time you felt the excitement and curiosity of a romantic event. You’ll find that the two lists are quite separate. You’ll have many occasions when your feelings come from a touch, or a word, or a glance. Be aware of every time you feel that special feeling and t mark it by sharing the feeling with your partner.

What if: Bonding on Ordinary Events Seems Boring or Unexciting

Sometimes one partner is infatuated, and the other is not. Infatuation isn’t love, and isn’t required in order to bond and develop a loving and satisfying relationship. If you aren’t experiencing infatuation, and your partner is, you may think something is wrong, since you don’t get as excited about romantic events as does your partner. Just continue marking your positive bonds and share your partners markings as well.

If the reverse is true, i.e. you are experiencing infatuation, and your partner isn’t, then understand that infatuation isn’t necessary for bonding in your relationship, and continue expressing your love.

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