Being Attentive In Adult Relationships

10 Oct

This blog post is a continuation of the blog post Adult Attention Struggle in which I discussed the attention level in adult relationships. I left off discussing the theory of ‘over’ attention.

I see many adults sitting at tables not talking, not looking, not paying any attention to each other. Especially older couples. I see young friends talking but looking around or texting at the same time. This relationship dynamic is probably here to stay with all the distractions available to us during practically every waking minute. I can live with this (although not my preference) as long as we connect to our children with true and genuine focus at the very least.

Again I was a little bit uplifted when I witnessed the ‘over’ attention of these two young people and their baby, but it was compelling for me to consider what our adult relationships would be like if we gave them even a part of the attention expressed by table across the sidewalk. I think we can and should treat our relationships more like our children. We should shower them with attention (not constantly) and not just when dramatic or ‘heavy’ events are occurring. Why not pay attention to the person across the table just for the sake of it, a little bit like the young parents at the breakfast cafe?

Certainly bonding would be stronger, connections would be deeper, and opportunities to truly support or help would be revealed. What is the downside in this? Maybe the perceived downside is that it takes too much energy and focus? Something most believe is in short or limited supply and therefore should be reserved for either our children or only serious situations.


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