Ten Ways to Build Connection with your Partner
Contrary to popular belief, you can build connection with your partner through continuous, conscious efforts. It is not really something that just happens naturally like in the movies.
Don’t worry about having to make huge gestures. It is actually the little daily moments in life that grow a relationship together.
You may have to unlearn some of the things you thought you knew about relationships. Almost certainly you will have to shift some of the bad communication habits you have been using.
1. Adjust your Expectations
First of all, let go of the idea that your partner is there to make you happy. You should both be willing to learn what makes the other happy. But ultimately you are each responsible for your own personal happiness. Learning to love yourself is an essential part of healthy relationships. So adapt your thinking and stop expecting your partner to have your happiness as their primary aim in life.
2. Build Connection With Active Listening
Really listen to what your partner is saying. Repeat what you hear to confirm that you are listening. After that, ask clarifying questions to make sure you have understood correctly. Make sure that you wait until they finish talking and leave a pause before you start talking. Only make noises such as ‘hmm’ at the appropriate moments. It can be very annoying to be interrupted half way through a sentence.
3. Don’t take it Personally
Try not to take it personally when your partner is upset. Many times it may have nothing to do with you. We are all carrying baggage from earlier in life. When arguing, your partner’s strong feelings may well be associated with past events. This is especially noticeable when they become very angry about a seemingly small thing. Try to listen out for the emotion behind what they are saying.
4. Accept them for who they are
If you want to build a true connection, it is very important that you accept your partner for who they are. Try not to judge them, as this will only create a distance between you. Just remember that we are all different and it would be boring if we were all exactly the same. If you find it hard to accept them as they are, remind yourself that they were once somebody’s baby. It may be helpful to imagine them as a child inside an adult’s body. Like you they just want to be loved.
5. Show an Interest
Try to get to know your partner better by asking questions about his/her interests, fears, aspirations etc. Be genuinely interested in the answers. Do not pretend to listen when you are thinking about something else. Fake interest is always easy to identify, and it feels very insulting. Instead, follow up with further questions to find out more about them.
6. Build Connection Through Quality Time
Spend good quality time with your partner. Do things that you both enjoy doing together. Date nights are always good to fall back on, but time spent together does not always have to involve an expensive dinner if you are on a budget. There are plenty of things you can do that don’t involve spending money. At the other end of the scale, take a romantic vacation together without children, pets or other distractions.
7. Have Meaningful Conversations
Having conversations that are not just about your To Do list will make your partner feel that they matter to you. Talk about things that are more important than the day-to-day tasks. If you find it hard to know what to say, look up interesting topics to discuss in advance. This will give you confidence that you have something interesting to discuss. Try to talk about things you know that your partner is interested in.
8. Be Vulnerable
True intimacy only occurs when we are vulnerable with each other. It can be scary to be the one who opens up first. But it is worth it for the rewards it will bring. Sharing a story about yourself is a great way to build connection. It is also a good way to encourage your partner to share something about him/herself. Just be careful not to fall into a habit of one-upmanship with competing stories.
9. Give your parter non-sexual touches
Giving your parter non-sexual touches is an often overlooked essential in relationships. Hugs are an important part of feeling loved. Find out what kind of touching your partner likes so that you are sure to be on the right track. It would not be helpful to touch them in a particular way, if they don’t feel comfortable with that kind of touch. Remember that some people are less into touch than others, and we should respect that.
10. Pray or Meditate Together
Praying or meditating together is easier than you might think. There are numerous articles you can read online about how to do this. Or use my free e-book 40 Days of Prayer to Transform Our Marriage. It is not necessary to spend hours praying together. Just a few minutes a day will make a difference. You can build up the length of time over the following weeks and months. Also you don’t need to keep to a particular formula. Just pray or meditate in a way that feels comfortable for both of you.
Thanks for Reading How to Build Connection with your Partner. I hope you found it helpful.