Look around the next time you and your spouse or partner go out to dinner. There may be one couple who look engaged, smiling, laughing, talking, having eye contact and maybe even holding hands. Your first thought might be: They must be dating.
The couple at another table has their cell phones out and look like they are in their own worlds, scrolling or texting or playing games. They are not interacting much and appear to just be waiting for their food.
What you are observing is the invisible degree of connection or engagement each couple has at that time. Unfortunately, with so many distractions today, we see couples becoming more disengaged.
Now turn your focus to you and your partner. How engaged are you? What would an observer say about your connection?
Of course, this isn’t a black and white question. There is a spectrum of engagement or presence, that couples have, generally, and at any particular moment.
You and your partner’s awareness of your energy or presence is vital to assess how connected you are.
Responding to the questions below will help you become more conscious of the feelings that surround your relationship and identify what you can do to improve your engagement.
- On a typical day, if you and your partner walked into a gathering of friends, what kind of feeling or energy would you give off? What would others sense about your connection?
- When you are coming home from work, or when you are expecting your partner home, what feelings do you have? What is the feeling when he walks in the door? What is the feeling when you walk in?
- At the end of the day when it is quiet, before you go to bed, how do you feel about your partner? How about when you wake up next to them in the morning?
- When you picture the two of you together in your mind, how do you see yourselves as a couple?
It’s important to get in touch with and be aware of the feeling or synergy of the relationship and what your contribution is.
Next ask yourself:
- What part do I play in creating the synergy, positive or negative, of the connection?
- Do I put forth effort to show my partner I love him and contribute a warm, caring feeling or do I withdraw?
- Do I criticize my partner and complain, expressing anger or negativity, or do I focus on the best parts of my partner and our relationship?
- What thoughts and feelings about the relationship do I carry around with me?
- Do those thoughts nurture the positive parts about your connection or the negative?
- Are there resentments left unspoken and stuffed away or are there compliments and loving thoughts and feelings left unsaid?
- What words do I say that brings my partner closer or pushes him away?
- How does my tone sound? Am I tender or harsh? Am I angry or sarcastic? Am I loving and kind?
- Do I demand what I need or tell my partner “I would appreciate it if…”?
- Do I communicate what I am grateful for or just complain about what I don’t have?
- How do my words contribute to the feeling generated by the relationship?
- What are the actions I take and how do they affect the relationship?
- Do I greet my partner lovingly? Do I reach out and touch her when I arrive home?
- Do I do the little things that let my partner know I am glad we have this time together even if it’s a small amount of time?
Your thoughts, feelings, words and actions contribute to the energy surrounding your connection. That is all you have control over.
Be an observer of yourself and become more mindful of how your positive or negative contribution affects your partner’s responses. Only then can you make more intentional choices about how you connect.
Share this article with your partner and make a conscious effort to become more engaged and more connected when the opportunity is there.
Stay tuned for our next article on How to Create A Deep Connection with Someone – from a man’s point of view.
Your relationship deserves the highest level of support. Relationship Experts, Bob and Lori Hollander are committed to helping individuals and couples build connection and deepen bonds in a world that often makes it difficult.
Call them at 410-363-2825 or email them today, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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