Last week I talked about ways in which couples grow apart. Recognize that this could happen to anyone, even those married for many years. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, people are happier, live longer, and manage stress better when they are in a committed relationship. Humans are motivated by a need to belong and have a strong desire to be in connected and committed relationships. We’re all different when it comes to connection; some struggle with it while others having an easy time with relationships. Typically those with higher emotional intelligence have an easier time with connection.
Time, energy, and attention are required to create and sustain relationships. We connect through activities and conversation. Think of activities that both you and your partner enjoy. Be spontaneous and surprise your spouse with tickets to a concert or college football game. Maybe you each need to create individual fun lists and select an activity from your partner’s list. Exercising together can also be a way of connecting whether it’s walking riding bikes or playing tennis. Spend time together appreciating nature like viewing an amazing sunset, watching the waves roll in at the ocean or listening to the sounds of a thunderstorm. Connection comes from sharing in an activity that both of you will enjoy. Go on a date night at least twice a month with each person taking a turn to plan the date.
We connect through positive and constructive conversations. Select topics that are connecting in nature and be respectful in your words. Focus on the present and be encouraging, complimentary, and supportive in your interactions. Write down seven things that you love about your partner and share one a day. Talk with each other about your goals, dreams, and desires. Communicate on an emotional level since emotions connect people. Also connect through physical affection and intimacy. Be spontaneous and consistent in your hugs and accept each other’s needs.
Lastly, choose to let go and forgive past hurts if you want to be connected. This may require you to work through conflict and re-establish trust. Remember that conflict occurs in all relationships, how you handle it determines its effect. Connection is a choice and the benefits are priceless.