It is easy for distance to creep into relationships today. Everyone is busy, busy these days. Running from one activity, or event, to the next. With all the meetings, appointments, events, and work getting in the way, time to connect may have gotten lost. By the end of the day, you probably just want to veg out and escape into a world of entertainment on the flat screen or surfing the web or social media.
Somewhere down the line, the art of connection and communication got lost.
The days of picking up the phone and making the time to connect with an old friend, or even your spouse during the middle of the day, may seem gone or maybe it is a "once in a while thing." Sending a quick text is easy as just pushing buttons, but connection is limited.
Again, this is fine and for certain relationships this is just enough. But is it enough for your closest relationships? Your most intimate relationship—your marriage or partnership?
We all need to feel loved and that we matter. This is a basic human need for everyone. I have learned that the best way to feel love is to be love--to give love.
What better time to show love and to give it with no conditions than Valentine’s Day? Not that this should be the only time we do this, but start now. Start now and commit to doing this daily over the next 365 days.
If you commit to taking action each day over the next year to deepen the connection in your love relationship, you will reap the benefits, or at least learn something new about your relationship. Sounds like a win-win to me! Add a reminder in your calendar each day so that you stay committed throughout the year.
Turn on an alarm!
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Here are a handful of actions you may commit to in order to create more connection in your love relationship. You can commit to one or all. Just make a choice to do something that builds into your relationship.
Stay checked-in. Don’t walk away, avoid or ignore the issues in your relationship. This does not mean start making a list and giving that to the other person. or place demands that he or she change. Think about filling in the gap. Start planning and doing things that will help you to feel more connected! Plan dates, go to lunch, make a phone call, send an email or a card, or talk over coffee. The list of activities to connect can be endless. What have you done in the past? What might you like to do now? What would your partner like? Make a personal list of ideas for connecting and start planning.
Talk needs. We all have needs. What are yours? What about your lovers? Do you know what they are or how to meet them for your lover? Talk with your partner about his/her top needs and how to meet them. Turn around and do things, daily, to meet those needs. Focus on meeting your lover’s needs, give, love and you will feel love. When sharing your needs, present your needs in clear behavioral requests. For example, “I would really like it if we could plan a date each week to spend time alone, or I would like it if you could have dinner with me 2 nights a week.” The clearer and more specific you are the more likely your needs will get met.
Be assertive. Let your spouse or partner know what you need. A great tool to use is “I” statements. For example, “I feel disappointed that we have not spent time together the way I liked before.” Adding in your emotions is key! This non-threatening approach is less likely to invite a defensive response/attack from your lover. Let him or her simply know that this is how you have been feeling and these are your feelings, not how they have to feel. Demonstrate that you own that these are your feelings and that you recognize that the other person may not feel the same way. Take 100% responsibility for yourself. It is important that you also take the time to ask about how they are feeling. “How do you feel about the time we spend together?” Acknowledge his or her feelings and accept how they feel.
Give a smile, hug and kisses. The simple act of smiling at someone can uplift that person. Give your lover a smile or make sure you kiss or hug each day. You could even star gaze into your partner’s eyes for a few minutes. It may feel awkward at first to create this kind of deep connection but this type of vulnerability can just melt a person. So, melt away and allow your lover to open up to you.
Share your appreciation. Most people want to feel like they matter and are loved. You can help provide this through sharing your appreciation for your lover. Tell your partner each day something you appreciate about them. Make them feel special. You will feel special in return!
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 make things happen. Just saying you will do something to change your relationship is not the same, nor will it have the same impact as doing something to change the relationship.
Best wishes & Happy Valentine’s Day!