Thanks to Hollywood and social media, many couples have been led to believe the secret to reconnecting and rekindling the passion is through a destination vacation, fancy date nights, or expensive gifts. But the reality is, once there’s a disconnect between partners, gifts and vacations simply won’t cut it.
It may seem counterintuitive, but love is mended not through grandiose deeds, but through small acts of kindness; through the seemingly micro-moments of being attuned to the other person. It is in these moments when we have a choice to listen to our partner and learn about them and their needs.
If you and your partner are feeling disconnected, here are a few ways you can reconnect:
Pay Better Attention
It is not maliciousness but rather mindlessness that often causes a disconnect. When our partner turns to us with an emotional need, or to simply be heard, do we stop what we are doing and give them our full attention? Or do we mumble something and nod a little, all-the-while checking our Facebook page?
One of the most important steps to reconnecting is to become more self-aware and understand that you are, most likely, not paying your partner the kind of attention they seek and deserve. When they reach for you, reach back. Showing kindness and respect, especially in those moments when it feels hard (like when the game is on or your coworker is texting you juicy office gossip), will go a long way toward reconnecting you.
Try This: How often do you actually look into your partner’s eyes when you are speaking to each other? Research has found that the act of meeting your partner’s eye can not only help you tune into them more fully, but can contribute to the release of oxytocin (a bonding hormone), increase feelings of attraction for one another and contribute to a longer lasting bond with each other.
Try to Understand Your Partner Better
Often times disconnection comes not from what is said between you both but what is not said. Many couples complain they feel their partner wants them to be a mind reader!
If partners are struggling to be vulnerable with each other there is usually a good reason why. When couples are distressed they often get stuck in patterns of behaviour that are reactive and worsen or amplify the distress between them. Consider if you are contributing to emotional safety between the two of you when you are having important conversations or if your emotional reactivity or shut down is fuelling the negative cycle you’re getting stuck in.
Yet another way to rekindle the joy and passion is to play together. Go to a movie, play air hockey, try rollerblading… whatever it is, just try and have genuine fun together. Play can bring us a sense of security, offer a way to communicate, and even help us resolve conflicts
Following these steps may help you to feel closer to your partner. And, if you feel you need more help reconnecting with one another, consider seeking the guidance of a therapist.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring couples counselling, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.