Some effective ways to re-connect with your partner
One of the issues about romantic relationships is that couples rarely talk to each other about their own relationship with any depth. They may discuss their friend’s relationship or the couple next door but very rarely look at what is happening at home.
One of the many reasons for why it’s so difficult to look at your own relationship is because we tend to not priorities it, we place our relationship at the bottom of the pile. We tell ourselves that it will fix itself or it will get better eventually or we just need a holiday and then things will get better. I know many people reading this will associate with this and maybe this will be the impetus needed to act.
The romantic relationship is probably the most important relationship that you will encounter. Of course, just like anything else in our life that is important, you have to put the work in, you have to give your time and energy. This requires that you both nurture the relationship not just every now and again or when things are not going well but constantly and consistently.
When relationships become stale and lifeless it may mean that no effort is being placed on the relationship and it just dwindles into relational distress. At this stage the relationship is wounded and requires external input, namely, couple counselling.
Here are just a few pointers to help with re-connection:
Tell your partner
“You didn’t put the rubbish out again” “You said you would call the school” “you never canceled the insurance you promised me you would”. We are very keen to point out to our partners what they didn’t do or what they did badly. One way of re-connecting with your partner is to point out to your partner what they did right, it can be anything. For example, “I just want you to know that you made a great job of cleaning the garage”. Can you imagine what that feels like for your partner to hear such a compliment. So just tell your partner, it doesn’t need to be a massive gesture, even the smallest compliment about the tiniest thing can make a huge difference.
What does it feel like when you express something to your partner and they don’t acknowledge it at all. For most people this is annoying to say the least and for others it’s just rude.
Alternatively, if your partner indicated that they are listening and responded in some way which shows that they care about you and want to be part of your experiences.
You then will feel connected and respected. These little gestures or “turning towards” as Dr John Gottman calls them are an important aspect of building connections within a romantic relationship.
There are many opportunities to turn towards your partner on a daily basis. For example, an everyday statement like “did you see that dog” your response could be to ignore it which is “turning away” or “yes that’s amazing” which is turning towards. It may seem small but connections are being built over time bringing you closer together.
More often than not when other people share their concerns with us we tend to want to fix the situation for them. Whilst they are communicating with us we are looking for solutions which means they are not receiving your full attention.
In romantic relationships this can be even more challenging for both parties. A great exercise that you can implement into your relationship so that you feel heard and listened to is “just listen” it means just that.
You take it in turns to talk about anything you want and the other person must not interrupt or try to fix or problem solve, just listen. The person doing the listening can use non-verbal encouragement and empathic body language to show that they are hundred percent with them. Some people use a timer for this exercise but it’s totally up to the couple.
Trust me if you begin to implement these small changes in to your relationship the connection between both of you will only get deeper.