Congratulations! Work has picked up and things are going really well. You used to be worried about making enough money to cover the mortgage but now that seems like a thing of the past. Even though things are going well at work, things at home are starting to feel a little disconnected.
As it turns out, this is how couples start to feel like roommates. You both hurry to get through the day and before you know it the day is over and you’re ready to crash. It’s kind of hard to trace, but somewhere along the way you both settled into a routine that thrived on surface level interaction.
You might even feel a little lonely. Even though you see each other every day it feels like you lost something and your connection just isn’t as deep and rich as it once was.
I talk a lot about mindfulness as a way to enhance the awareness of your own experience but it turns out that you can use mindfulness as a tool to enhance the connection you have with your partner. Mindfulness is just a way to bring awareness to your present experience. When life demands that your attention be in a million places at once it’s only natural that you might get a little distracted from paying attention to the experience of your relationship.
Remember when you first started dating? The connection you had then was reinforced by a very heightened awareness of actually BEING with that person. You were very mindful of the other person so much so that you decided to make BEING with that person pretty permanent.
Want to take a few steps back towards reconnecting? Try some of these mindfulness strategies to connect with your partner…
- Make Eye Contact:
When was the last time that you made direct eye contact with your partner and let it linger? The practice of taking a few moments to stare into the eyes of your loved one might make you uncomfortable at first. If so, try to notice the discomfort and let it pass. Notice how it makes you feel to stare directly at someone knowing that you are equal parts seeing and being seen. It is something that we crave on a fundamental level.
- Notice When You Touch:
I talk about using the sense of touch as a grounding tool for anxiety but you can also use it as a grounding tool with your loved one. The simple act of holding hands is so inherently soothing that we often don’t even notice that we are doing it. Try to bring your attention to the way that it feels to hold someone else. Then notice how it feels to be held.
- Be Honest:
Can you share your experience with your partner? Check in with yourself and ask yourself “what’s happening for me right now?” and, if you would like, share that with your partner with one rule: make it 100% about your experience and avoid any temptation to solve, blame or avoid it. If you find yourself feeling sad, share it but make it clear that you only want to be able to share the experience. This is honesty in a pure form that is detached from any ulterior motive and it allows your partner access to a part of you that is otherwise hidden.
Sometimes we lose track of how fast we are moving and in doing so, we lose a deeper awareness of truly being with the people we love the most. Try using one or all of these as a way to become more aware of the precious people in your life.