You know those times when you are getting frustrated in your relationship because you just aren't getting your needs met? You keep telling your partner that you want things (sex, communication, warmth, etc.) and feel like your requests are falling on deaf ears? Frustration creeps in and you start losing stake in the relationship feeling that your connection is more distant and fractured.
Unfortunately gaining and growing your connections is not as easy as we would have hoped...until you learn how. Often, there is much you can do, but you have to start by looking at your own understandings, behavior and goals. Being able to cope with your existing feelings of resentment, fear, loneliness and sadness from extended disconnect is important to be able to start to build. When I work with individuals and couples who are ready to start building again, we first focus on understanding the who, what, how and why. Let's break this down...
Who is the person you are trying to connect to? While the process and lessons are transferable across relationship types, how we might approach them are different. Obviously, how we connect with our employer is going to be different than how we connect with our intimate partner. Spend some time thinking about the person you are trying to connect to...what is in the way of your connection?
What is connection? To develop a solid connection, we need to know what we are talking about. When asked to describe what connection feels like, common responses are often answers like I would be relaxed. My partner would be attending to the conversation we are having. I would have eye contact and not be worried if we were going to run out of conversation. I would feel valued and desired. What does connection feel like to you? Spend some time writing down what it is for you so that you will know it when you see/experience it.
The "how" is the harder part. This requires that we do some self-assessment about ourselves and our part in the lack of connection. It is time to ask what skills it would take to create the type of connection we are looking for. Often, to develop connection, we need to make choices and utilize many skills such as communication skills, time management, prioritization skills, the ability to ask for help, the ability to stay focused and let go of small annoyances for the time being, etc. What other skills and choices do you think would help you to create a strong connection?
Being able to create meaningful connections can result in a plethora of positive rewards. Yes, it is a lot of work and self-challenge but the outcomes can include increased self-esteem, comfort, shared relationship workload, confidence, feelings of desire and more. What rewards do you think you will get from more meaningful connections?