A Guide to Real-lationships

In a world of tik tok, snapchat, and dm’s what does a healthy relationship look like in 2023? Whether we are trying to meet new friends in our classes, sports teams, or Youth Ministry, or are pursuing a romantic relationship, building real and authentic relationships in our modern age is a challenging thing. As we strive for healthy, holy, and real relationships here are a few solid points to keep in mind. 

Made for Intimacy

Guess what? You are made for authentic and healthy relationships. We are made in the image and likeness of God and God as the Trinity of persons is relationship itself. We all crave intimacy because we are made by God, for God. We are made to be in perfect communion with a Father who created us, and made to be in communion with our beloved brothers and sisters in faith. It’s key to remember that our desires for intimacy, connection, and authentic friendship are not only good, but God-given! 

Starts With You

In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus tells us “you shall love your neighbor as yourself”, so first we have to ask how do I love myself? Do I love myself? The first step to having real relationships with others is to have a real relationship with ourselves and to begin to love ourselves. To begin to do this we can look to St. Paul’s words as he shares “love is patient, love is kind”. Being patient and kind with ourselves, with our thoughts, desires, anxieties, and struggles, is the first step to loving ourselves and having a real relationship with ourselves. If we can recognize our own valid emotions, thoughts, and experiences, with patience and kindness, we will be better able to meet people where they are at and begin to authentically relate with others.

Wounds and All

Living in this world we can quickly see that it’s broken. Everyone we encounter is broken in some way as an effect of original sin. As we strive to build a real relationship with ourselves we will inevitably encounter our own wounds that need healing. As we encounter others we might also quickly see their wounds and weaknesses. Wounds can make it hard to relate, trust, and love others as we are called to, but they don’t need to keep us from real relationships. Some wounds might require us to set firm boundaries for ourselves and with others. We also aren’t called to a close relationship with everyone we meet but as we get to know others we can invite Christ into our wounds and pursue the healing He longs to give us. Christ heals even our wounds through real relationships. This healing of wounds can happen through your priests, a teacher, Youth Minister, therapist, or a good friend or family member who reminds you of your worth and goodness.


Last but not least, to quote the great and late Mufasa “Simba, remember who you are”. As Catholics we have to remember that our identity is never in our grades, athletics, what people think of us, or anything of this world. Our identity comes from being the beloved of the heavenly Father as His son or daughter. If we can remember this truth daily, we will be less stressed trying to prove ourselves or impress those around us. In first remembering that we are the beloved of a loving Father who says our worth is never in our performance or our failures, we are  equipped to remind friends and loved ones of their dignity and infinite worth.

While forming real relationships can seem like a daunting task, we can turn to the Father to embrace our need for connectivity, self-knowledge, healing, and a true sense of identity rooted in Christ. Real relationships begin by knowing who God is and who He made us to be. In the truth of Christ we can relate to people and be transformed by the amazing and beautiful people God has placed in our lives! 

To schedule an appointment with Adam Cross LMFT #116623 please call (805) 428-3755, email amc.cross7@gmail.com, or visit the contact page at adamcrossmft.wordpress.com/contact

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