Participants from the Gift of Singleness pose after go-kart racing at Autobahn in Manassas, Virginia, Aug. 8. The participants come from various organizations on JBM-HH.

Connection with self while single builds for stronger future relationships

Connection with self while single builds for stronger future relationships By Katrina Wilson Pentagram Staff Writer


Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Family Life Program hosted a training on how a connection with self while single builds for stronger future relationships at The Gift of Singleness at Autobahn in Manassas, Virginia, Aug. 8.


“By the time someone meets you for a relationship, you’ve already constructed major parts of who you are,” Family Life Chaplain (Maj.) Bryant Casteel said.


Casteel said how individuals grew up, the scenarios they witnessed or experienced affects how they construct major parts of themselves. People know what they are willing to compromise on and communication efforts for relationships. He said these individuals are like a house. He inquired, “What’s important in your house? What things do you value?”


For example, he had a graphic of a house to illustrate the different portions of a house –– bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms and living area. He told the Soldiers they should outline certain things that are allowed in their “house” or relationship. His metaphor continued when he said, a person is OK with how a bedroom is organized, but may put up a fight about how a kitchen is organized. He equated it to when an individual likes a certain situation handled or organized a certain way, he or she should discuss with their significant other. He said an individual should know what he or she values and explain that to his or her partners. It is OK to discuss this calmly because one should not be afraid to be truthful with his or her partner, he said.


“If (the person walks) away after you discuss this with him or her, you don’t need to be in a relationship with that person,” Casteel said.


Casteel said this also works if a person is single with kids. When he or she dates, his or her significant other should know that the single individual and the child are a packaged deal.


Spc. Noah Daily, a religious affairs specialist, attended the event. He said he liked learning about connection.


“I really liked how it dealt with connection and dealing with your relationships in life, being open and honest on how you feel emotionally, not just (verbally) attacking the other person,” explained Daily.


As the images of different topics popped on the screen –– sinking/rocky ship or the house –– attendees’ participation increased. The chaplain asked what the rocky/sinking ship could describe. Attendees said it described how individuals and couples handle conflict that can make a relationship rocky. Casteel and other attendees said it is best to take a step back, apologies are nice, but don’t just say “sorry” without thinking of solutions to fix what one is saying sorry for.


“I have noticed in my counseling with couples, a lot of what couples struggle with is from how they grew up,” Casteel said. “Some of the clients say, ‘How I grew up, I didn’t talk about how I feel about this situation or that one.’”


Casteel continued his training with a scenario performed by two Soldiers. The scenario portrayed the two as a separated couple with kids, and the male in the situation had concerns about the stepfather. The scenario showed how Casteel handled allowing each person to speak by listening without interjecting.


Daily said it was interesting to hear how family of origin or how one grew up affected relationships. He said he would like that to be expounded on in the future.


Spc. Ambria Kirby, an administrative assistant, said she realized this training is not just for singles.


“I learned to listen when someone is speaking –– listen to understand,” Kirby said.


Pentagram Staff Writer Katrina Wilson can be reached at < > .

By Katrina Wilson

Pentagram Staff Writer