Seven Tips for Deeper Connection That All Couples Should Try
Sometimes, the most profound changes seem deceptively simple.
In my counselling practice, I often see couples who are yearning for a deeper, safer, more meaningful connection with each other. They love each other, they want to stay together - but often, one or both of them can't shake the feeling that there ought to be more. The truth is, it's easy to live side by side with someone, sharing a bed, sharing meals, and sharing a routine, but without truly sharing your hearts. Sometimes we have gotten out of the habit, and sometimes we never had that habit (most likely because we did not have good modelling to teach us what healthy emotional closeness is).
This morning I read an article that I wanted to share with everyone I know who is in a relationship. It's an excerpt from Emotional Intimacy: A Comprehensive Guide for Connecting with the Power of Your Emotions, by Robert Augustus Masters. Disclaimer: I have not read the book myself, so I cannot speak to it as a whole. However, I highly recommend the article, which you can find here: 7 Ways (Besides Sex) to Emotionally Connect with Your Partner.
Tip #1 is incredibly powerful in and of itself, so I'm going to copy it here. It's deceptively simple, but potentially transformative when applied regularly.
"When you realize you're being reactive, say "I'm being reactive."How simple this sounds, and yet how challenging to put into practice -- mostly because of the shame we're on the edge of fully feeling as we become aware of our reactivity.And once you've stated that you're being reactive, STOP, no matter how tempted you might be to continue your reactivity. Soften your belly, breathe more deeply, and wait until you're ready to say what you're feeling and nothing more."