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You are hereHome › Top 3 Ways to Reconnect With Your Partner
Top 3 Ways to Reconnect With Your Partner
Top 3 Ways to Reconnect With Your Partner
Nothing that’s neglected—whether it’s a child, a pet, a plant or a relationship—can flourish and thrive. When it comes to relationships, it’s easy to fall into ruts and routines, and to let the million other things that demand your attention on a daily basis take precedence. When that happens, the passion that once served to illuminate your life and enrich your personal partnership can fizzle out like a candle struck by a cold, lonely wind.
Rekindling the spark takes effort and dedication. That means making the time if you can’t find it. Kate Feldman, who codirects The Conscious Relationships Institute in Durango, Colo., with her husband, Joel Feldman, explains that communication is essential to the process. The Feldmans, founding members of Kriaplu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts, offer private counseling sessions and phone consultations from Durango and host couple’s retreats and workshops around the country.
“It’s a very basic principle that if you want something to grow, you have to put time and energy into it,” explains Kate, a psychotherapist with a background that includes Gestalt, family systems therapies, yoga and meditation. “There’s also the basic human fact that once we’ve been together for a while, it’s just not as exciting or mysterious as when we first fell in love. Those rush-producing hormones aren’t being produced as fast. Couples have to become intentional to create all of that yummy stuff again. In our culture, we don’t understand that once the romance phase is over, we have to be intentional about focusing on the other aspects of a relationship.”
Kate offers some exercises that can re-establish meaningful communication, nurture your bond to one another and kickstart any dwindling flames.
Over time, even couples who once delighted in shared runs to the grocery store can begin to feel a distance growing between them. Kate explains that one of the exercises she finds beneficial to rebonding and replenishing a relationship’s emotional bank account is sweet appreciation. In this 10-minute, heart-opening daily ritual, couples share comfort and reassurance, while also offering one another positive acknowledgement.
“Begin by sitting face to face,” she says. “Invite your partner to relax while you verbally deliver words of appreciation. I recommend that you touch on three categories, spending three to four minutes on each. First, appreciate your partner’s body. For example, say how you love his or her long, dark eyelashes or beautiful laugh. Next, appreciate how your partner shows up in the world and in your life together. You might tell your partner how much you appreciate their help with household chores. Next, appreciate their inner characteristics, such as their tenderness or sense of humor. After this, thank each other and reverse roles.”
Mindful hugging, says Kate, is a deliberate embrace that helps bring you and your partner into the present moment. Kate suggests practicing this exercise daily—once at the beginning of the day and once when you come home in the evening. She adds that this nonverbal connection relaxes the nervous system, lowers heart rate and helps you get into your body and out of your head. Mindful hugging can set the stage for romance, or for repairing damage resulting from conflict.
“Begin by standing facing one another and taking a few deep, relaxing breaths,” Kate says. “Make eye contact, keep breathing and move toward one another. Place your arms around one another comfortably, with your bellies touching. Ground yourself firmly by focusing on your feet, allowing yourselves to relax deeply into one another’s bodies. Let your partner know where you are most comfortable being held. Notice all the sensations in your body, beginning at the top of your head and moving all the way down your legs. Enjoy the sensation of touching. Remain in the hug for up to two minutes, then gradually and consciously come away when you are ready. Thank one another afterwards.”
Remember that being physical isn’t limited to sex. Taking on an activity as a couple can help strengthen the bonds between you. If you’re daunted by the fact that your partner already knows how to tango, start from scratch, together, with something new that you can learn as a team—try the waltz, or fast-pasted tap lessons that will get your blood moving. There are plenty of options: Sign up for a yoga class together, hone your tennis game, go for your scuba certification or take a daily walk together. What you do is less important than making the effort to do it together. This isn’t the time to get the kids, friends or other family members involved. The goal should be a heightened awareness of how you’re working together as a team, communicating as you go.
By: Debra Bokur
Debra, a former Contributing Editor at Fit Yoga Magazine, Travel & Wellness Editor at Healing Lifestyles & Spas, and Managing Editor at Delicious Living Magazine, has been covering health, travel and wellness for over 25 years. She currently writes for Global Traveler Magazine and serves as the poetry editor at the national literary journal Many Mountains Moving. Previously, she trained horses for the sports of dressage and combined training, and worked for a variety of equestrian magazines including Spur, Horse & Rider, HorsePlay, and Discover Horses.
May 31st, 2012