Strengthening The Connection with Your Partner
We are all so busy in today’s society. Checking emails, doing activities, booking holidays, making time for the kids, working for a promotion, catching up on WhatsApp messages, trying to figure out how to use less plastic, and the list goes on. Modern Western society is hard to live in. And to love in.
I see a lot of couples who are not ‘bad’ couples, but who have gone through bad times.
These couples need to work on reconnecting, to repair the ruptures between them. Rebuilding the foundation. Restoring the trust they had. A lot of ‘re’ words – reconnect, repair, rebuild, restore. I use these words to illustrate that most of the couples I see had those positives in place when they started building a life together. They fell in love with someone they clicked with, who shared their values, who laughed with them and made them feel good. Like most of us in the early days of infatuation, they were intrigued by the other person and wanted to get to know them better. So they spent time and effort on each other, dating and building their connection.
Then life happened. Love got lost as life got difficult.
As it does for all of us, because life is inevitably full of as much pain and darkness as it is of joy and light moments. For the couples I see, they have not been able to connect through the darkness. The darkness has been pushing them apart, when if done with care, empathy and compassion, experiencing dark times together can deepen your connection.
All of the couples I see share a common feature: they left it too long before they did anything about their connection dwindling.
So I am passionate about teaching people how we can not only repair and restore connection once it has weakened or got lost, but how to protect it to prevent some of the ruptures in the first place. Three of the many things I teach people who I see:
Keep getting to know each other to grow together.
You are not the same person you were when you first met your partner, and neither are they. Keep asking questions, keep listening to the answers. By exploring what is important and meaningful to your partner, and daring to try things they value, you can also learn something new about yourself.
Connection comes from both light and dark times.
Don’t be afraid to turn to each other in the darkness for hope, support and compassion. Talk to each other about how you feel about something heavy, dare to let the other person in and dare to ask them for help. Getting through tough times together can strengthen your relationship, if you let it be a foundation for growth. Ask about what worries your partner at the moment, and make space for it.
Your love needs nourishment to grow.
Much like a potted plant or flower in your garden, your relationship needs to be nourished to flourish. We do not blame the flower for not blossoming if there are not enough nutrients in the soil, or the conditions around the flower are not the ideal ones. Change the environment to change the connection. If doing things together is the sunshine, having compassionate communication where you really listen and understand each other can be the water.
Commiting to the connection
Valuing each other and acting in a caring, loving and respectful way towards each other is not always easy. This is why we need to make a commitment to valuing connection, and making space for reconnecting to each other. That can be a weekly practice of asking your partner what they want, and what they need, listening intently to why it would be meaningful to them to get those things met, and then negotiating around what can realistically be met each week.
Because I am passionate about helping couples reconnect, I started The Love & Dine Club. A relaxed and informal setting where I can connect with people who are interested in knowing more about how to strengthen the connection with their partner, whilst also enjoying some time together, nourishing their relationship. Have a look under Events to see when the next supper club is and email me if you have any questions about the club.
You can come along once, twice, every time. It doesn’t matter. It isn’t couples therapy or an awkward circle of sharing what is wrong with your relationship. It is a small amount of couples coming together to learn more about love, connection and compassion in relationships.