How To Connect With Your Partner
Connection and dialogue between partners is vital any relationship, in order to have an intimate, close connection with your loved one. The ability to connect, to be together, to have dialogue, and meet each other half-way is crucial for the relationship to be nurturing and satisfying.
Most times couples counselling happens because a couple have lost this sense of connection and, as a result, are sad, frustrated and scared. Obviously, they would like to have the feeling of being connected back!
There are many obstacles to connection. We should resolve our conflicts, make specific decisions, and talk about issues that are difficult for both of us before we can enjoy our connection again. All of this is true and important order to get to be connected again.
Often, this is what couples counsellors are doing; helping partners to see how their mutual contact is interrupted and what they can try and experiment with in order to feel connected again.
The three components for healthy connection
Difference means that we need to have some difference between us in order to feel connected. We need to be able to accept each other as distinct, unique human beings, and allow each other to be who we are.
This doesn’t mean that we have to always agree with what the other person is saying, but to allow them to say what they say and to accept it as it is.
This could be very difficult for many partners, because difference is often threatening, with the fear that connection will be lost if we are different.
There needs to be some movement happening between couples, such as physical movement, eye movement etc.
Between couples in dialogue, there is always movement happening from moment to moment. The way we are influencing our partner and being influenced by them.
Movement shows interest in one another.
3) Sharing our primary experience
Saying openly and truthfully what is happening in this particular moment for you is important. It is having the courage to share openly with your partner whatever thoughts, feelings, ideas, wants and wishes you have.
This can be difficult because you may be afraid of not being accepted or understood in a way you would like. Very often we only tell each other what we think our partner wants to hear, or sometimes not tell anything at all!
Fortunately, in order to be connected you do not necessarily need to be able to say absolutely everything to your partner. Sometimes it’s enough to share the difficulty, for example: “I want to tell you something, but I am afraid you won’t understand me”, or “I wish I could tell you what I want, but I’m so confused that I really don’t know what it is”.
Saying things this way creates a much better connection than not saying anything at all, or pretending you want the same thing, or think the same way as your partner.
Feeling Connected Again!
When you feel stuck and disconnected, these three conditions are enough to kick-start us to talk about difficult issues, and therefore feel connected again.
Of course, both you and your partner need to be engaging in contact; sharing what’s happening for you both and responding to each other.
And if you want to get to a new level of intimacy, then there is fourth condition that is necessary - feeling free to be yourself moment-by-moment without monitoring yourself.
When we are intimate, we are free to be ourselves with each other without any conditions, allowing us to be who we are. Intimacy is not something we continuously have in a relationship, it is more about the moments of intimate connection which are very nourishing and bring a lot of joy and satisfaction to our lives.
Here's Something For You To Try!
Choose a time when you and you partner are not distracted by everyday tasks.
Sit comfortably in front of each other and notice what comes up for each of you at this very moment, as you are looking at each other.
Now try to share it.
Take turns doing the above. When one person is sharing, the other is listening and responding, and vice versa.
Notice how is it for you – to share your intimate primary experience with your loved one. Is it scary? Do you feel silly, disinterested, or excited and more alive?
How is it to hear your partner telling you exactly what’s going on for them in the moment? Notice what this does for connection between you. Do you feel closer or more distant from each other?
Do this for a few minutes and then share with each other your experience of this exercise.
This little experiment may bring new information in your relationship and some new ideas may arise about what’s in a way of your connection and how to make it better.
Wishing all partners happy sharing and connecting with each other,
Svetlana Vasilyeva, MC, RCC.
Sveltana is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Relationship Specialist at Vida Relationships who is accepting new clients for couples and individual counselling in Vancouver, BC. Contact her here to book and appointment.