Couples drift apart for many reasons, and we don’t always see it coming. Once we feel secure in our relationship, it can be easy to stop working on it; and then there are the daily demands of work, kids, appointments. Let’s not even talk about screen time! If this sounds familiar to you, here are three signs that it’s definitely time to reconnect with your partner - and how to go about doing it.
Do You Need to Reconnect With Your Partner?
Are you wondering if it is just a phase, or are you really disconnected from your partner? The below are three common signs I see in couples who have drifted apart:
You are experiencing negative emotions. When you are feeling disconnected from your partner, this can manifest as feelings of loneliness, sadness, worry, and even anger. Are you snapping at each other more? Feeling anxious for no apparent reason? There are a lot of individual reasons these feelings may show up, but it ultimately boils down to your need(s) not being met.
You question the security of your relationship. Detachment leads to uncertainty, and may cause you to wonder where you stand with your partner. It’s hard to stay connected when you don’t know the status of the relationship… and when you don’t know the status of the relationship, you distance yourself. It is a circular pattern that keeps turning until we do something to stop it.
You are lost in routine. Routine itself is not the enemy, but just “going through the motions” of your life is. As you allow daily distractions to come between you and your partner, slowly you will lose touch with them. Sure, you might pass by each other or talk about your day, but do you feel engaged during these interactions?
Connection is essential in a healthy relationship. If you aren’t connecting, then you aren’t growing together, though you will grow apart. If you feel like your relationship is slipping away, it’s time to get conscious about strengthening your bond.
Tips to Reconnect with Your Partner
We all have the power to change things in our lives. If you are yearning to reconnect with your partner, you can have what you want; you just need to create it. The ultimate goal is to be more conscious in your efforts to build that connection, and the first step is to decide what it looks like. Consider what you want your relationship to look like, and commit to making things different in order to get there. Once you’ve made the decision to change things, you can do your part by using these effective strategies to rebuild connection with your partner.
Plan times to connect. Don’t walk away from, avoid, or ignore the disconnect in your relationship. No, this doesn’t mean making a list of what’s wrong with how your partner is acting. Rather, think about filling the gap. What can you do to help you feel more in sync with your partner?
Think about what you used to do together. What would you like to do now? Start planning and doing things that will bring you closer. This could be scheduling a date, eating lunch together, calling them at work, or bringing them a coffee. It is time to make an effort, again.
Meet their emotional needs. Think about what emotional needs are most important to your partner, and help to meet those needs in the specific ways that they like. For example, hugging them more, or doing the dishes when it isn’t your turn. When you give to the relationship, your partner will feel loved and cared for, which will help to close the divide between you.
Communicate your own needs. During these types of talks, using “I” statements is key, as is approaching the situation calmly and without a threatening stance. This helps avoid a defensive response from the other person. For example: “I feel disappointed that we haven’t been spending as much time together as we used to.”
Let them know that this is how you have been feeling, and that these are your feelings, not how they have to feel. Take the time to ask how they are feeling, as well. “How do you feel about the time we spend together?” Be sure to acknowledge and accept their feelings, like you want yours to be received.
Ask for what you need. When you are clear and specific about what you need and want, it is more likely that your needs will be met. Present your needs in clear, behavioral requests, like: “I would like it if we could plan a date night each week to spend time away from the house and kids.”
Staying connected in your relationships takes effort. It is so easy to lose that in today’s busy world. Think of ways to build connection back into your relationships and be calm, clear and assertive when it comes to addressing your needs. Knowing what is bothering you, owning your thoughts and feelings, and addressing the issue in a conscious effort to get your needs met will prove to be effective.