A Therapist’s Tips To Increasing Connection

A Therapist’s Tips To Increasing Connection

If you’re in a romantic relationship, you have likely noticed that there are moments in which your connection physically and emotionally with your partner increases and decreases. This tends to be based on different periods or phases in your relationship. Although it is common for emotional and physical connection to fluctuate, there are things that you can be doing to try and have consistency with your connection. Read below for 3 tips on how to increase both physical and emotional connection in your relationship.

1.Look For Opportunities

Unfortunately, we all know that life can get busy, we can be easily overwhelmed, and thus, we miss opportunities to connect with our partner. Dr. John Gottman, relationship researcher and psychologist, proposes the idea of bids for connection. Simply stated, both you and your partner have moments that you seek one another’s attention, affection, or love in some way. The goals is to accept these bids when they occur. However, if we are always preoccupied and missing the opportunities for connection, these bids will get rejected.

So, reflect on your daily life. How can you increase your awareness of the opportunities for connection with your partner? What can you be more present when you’re sharing the same space with your partner or when you are conversing with each other? Are there ways that you can invite your partner to be more apart of your life to create moments for connection? Once you start acting on these questions, the opportunities to connect with your partner will inevitably start to increase.

2.Bring Back Old Habits

In any relationship, after a certain duration of time being in the relationship, we can quickly start to become stagnant. Think about it. When you were first in a relationship, you likely started engaging conversations, you were mindful of your partner’s likes and dislikes, and you likely tried to extend yourself to show them the love and care that they appreciated. But, oftentimes, after the initial phases of a relationship when you’re getting to know one another and falling in love, some of these actions start to slip.

Start bringing these actions back by relearning about your partner. Start up engaging conversations again. People change over time (including you) and so, it’s important to keep asking questions about who your partner is. For example, start asking what their likes and dislikes are, what are their beliefs, values, etc?

Next, take action on their likes. For example, if you know your partner is having a stressful week, how can you brighten their day by acting on their likes? This could look like bringing them their favorite treat, initiating a date at their favorite place, or watching their favorite movie with them. In a relationship, it’s important to act on your partner’s likes. Doing this shows that you are being attentive to them and being mindful of what they like.

Lastly, think about how your partner feels loved and cared for and start taking action on these. If you are unsure of what helps your partner to feel loved or cared for, ask them! This would be a perfect opportunity to start an engaging conversation and learn more about who your partner is.

3.Be Willing To Be Vulnerable

You can’t ask your partner to emotionally or physically connect with you if you are unwilling to be  vulnerable yourself. Start this process by turning towards your partner with your emotions. This can look like you luing them into the events and emotions of your day. If something is bothering you, instead of yelling or withdrawing from your partner, tell them what is really upsetting you at the core. Once you start to be vulnerable with your partner, it opens the space for them to be vulnerable with you as well. Ultimately, this will help both you and your partner to feel more connected with one another.

There are many ways for couples to emotionally and physically connect with one another. The above tips are essential to starting this process. So, if you are ready to start connecting with your partner on a more consistent basis, look for opportunities to connect and take advantage of these. Bring back old habits to demonstrate love. And last, be willing to be vulnerable emotionally and physically yourself. Once you start acting on these tips, your connection will start to increase.

About the Author

Amanda Cummins is a marriage counselor with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She focuses on working with couples in distress as well as families and children in transitions. As a Denver Native, Amanda enjoys hiking, yoga, and spending time with her family

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