Psychologist John Van Epp, after working with couples and studying the topic for years developed a model for building good relationships. His model makes a lot of sense to me and I often refer to it in my work. He talks about his “Relationship Attachment Model” as being like an equalizer. Each of the “5 universal human dynamics” in his model is at a certain level in any relationship. The 5 dynamics are the extent to which you know, trust, rely upon, commit to and touch another person. His idea is that ideally the first dynamic should be equal to or higher than all subsequent dynamics (visualize each of the dynamics as lever on an equalizer, with the first lever being higher or equal to the subsequent ones). They build on each other. In other words, you shouldn’t trust someone you don’t know, you shouldn’t rely upon someone you don’t trust, you shouldn’t commit to someone you can’t rely upon and you shouldn’t be intimate with someone you don’t commit to (if only all of this were as simple as it sounds!). Obviously a lot of people do not follow this model, but his point is, that if you do follow this model you will be building a good foundation for a relationship. There is much more to his model in terms of what to look for in a mate to ensure you are a good match. I will post more on this in subsequent posts.