Nurture Your “Thing”

What’s your thing? What’s that main connecting point that always brings you and your partner back to one another? Is it a similar interest? A hobby? A state of being? If you know what it is, you know how to start moving in a positive direction. Unfortunately, the problem is often that many couples struggle to answer that question.

Couples often come to my office feeling a strong amount of distance from one another. They struggle to share positive memories, connecting points, dreams, or ways that they demonstrate care and connection toward one another. At this point, the goal is to start back at the beginning, building (or should I say rebuilding) a strong foundation. I mean honestly. there must be SOMETHING that led them to say “I want to share my life with this person.” I like to start there.

For me, my husband and I have always been dreamers. We have always connected most when sitting and planning out our future, our hopes and dreams, our goals for growing our family, progressing in our careers, traveling, etc. Dreaming about the future made us feel as though we had a similar path in mind. We felt connected because we felt like we were a team.

Once we had our two children, we became much more present-focused. We began to live in the moment which was (and still is) full of diaper changes, daycare drop-offs, and toddler entertainment. We lost touch of the dreamers in us and time was replaced with watching Frozen and Moana on repeat. COVID didn’t help much either, feeling limited in many of our short term goals for vacations and time with extended family. I found that we stopped having those late nights sitting outside with some wine thinking about where we are in our relationship and where we want it to go. For us, that is everything. That is our connecting point. We feel most aligned and attuned to one another when we have a plan for what direction we are moving in.

In light of the current pandemic, many are finding it difficult to continue connecting in ways they may have previously engaged with one another. For example, if you and your partner feel most connected when traveling, going out, or any of the million things we are no longer able to do during this pandemic, you may be feeling distant in your relationship.

Well, it’s time to get creative! Think on this a little more and dig deeper. What is it about travel that makes you feel connected? Is is uninterrupted time together? Is it experiencing and learning something new? Is it just getting space from the natural rhythms and monotony of normal life? Think about how you can fulfill that need in other ways. Hop in the car and just go for a drive to some place new. Learn a new skill together. Go camping.

It doesn’t really matter what you do, just make sure it’s something that works and moves you toward connection.

Don’t be concerned if you don’t yet know what your connecting point is for your relationship. To be honest, if you are like my partner and I, it can be something very small. Take time to think on the last time you felt close to your partner. Identify what you are doing and why you are feeling connected.

Finally, once you know your “thing,” it’s time to make it a priority. Relationships need to be nurtured and this is especially true for aspects of your relationship that keep both you and your partner fulfilled. Talk about it, plan around it. . . and above all else, commit to it!

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