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  • Writer's pictureTate Kerkhoff

10 Tips for a Healthier Connection to your Partner

In a world where we are constantly being driven apart by many outside forces and we have every excuse in the book to disconnect from people, we are also seeing a wave of growth minded individuals seeking something greater. I see it every day in my coaching business, people willing and able to do the work to become more connected to their partner and build long lasting, loving relationships.

1. Communication Hard conversations must be had. Open and honest dialogue must be had. The trust and safety to speak freely must be had. IF you truly want to connect on a deeper level with your partner, push the envelope on communication. The profound benefits to diving deep into your relationship's intricate nature will build a bond like never before. Be open, be honest, be receptive and be willing to listen, hear and understand.

2. Create a safe space. Naturally this will come after we talked about communication. Safe space is a term that’s been thrown around a lot lately. Even South Park poked fun at it. Truth is we all want safety. Especially in relationships. How many of your relationships worked out when you felt like you were walking on eggshells? If you want to be the safe space for your partner, you must learn to set your personal issues aside. We want to be seen, heard, and validated. We can’t do that for the other person when we are stuck in our own shit. Step back, listen, empathize, ask questions, and don’t project your shit on them.

3. Shared Vision I actually do a practice with my coaching clients where we write this down on paper. A few simple questions will lay out what each person is thinking. It’s remarkable when we combine the two what magic can happen when two people are on the same page and they didn’t even know it. A shared vision is the foundational component to any relationship. Yes, this can be built and even altered, but each person must be on the same page and contribute with passion. After all, this is your relationship, your life. Why wouldn’t you want to work together on it?

4. Playfulness Our inner child is screaming to be let out. So let it out. Silly little things you wanted to do as a kid can help build unbreakable connections as adults. This doesn’t mean we have to do kid things either. Slap their ass in the kitchen, make out at the mall, hold hands in the car. When my man hugs me, he picks me up off the ground and carries me around like a baby. (I wasn’t held enough as a child). He and I sing to each other, poke fun, match outfits, you name it. Keep it fun!4

5. Shared interests and hobbies. To piggyback on shared vision, these two areas for connection are also uber important. Whether its going to the gym together or doing a puzzle. Reading in the morning or your favorite TV show. Couples who do shit together, stick together. Put the effort into something new with your partner, suggest something you both may find interest in. You never know, you may build a business, join a group, find new friends or even develop a new way to connect with each other.

6. Sharing your fears, goals, and desires. What are each of you afraid of? Learn to defeat those fears together. What are your goals, learn to accomplish them, together. What are your desires? Share them with each other and find where you match. It may sound dumb but serious write these down with each other and then go over them, it’s not only a fun activity, but I can guarantee you’ll see many commonalities you didn’t know about.

7. Open the lines of communication about needs/wants/desires in the bedroom. Get candid about sex. We all have things we want and need. We won’t get them or even the chance to explore them if we don’t share them. Obviously, we need to be respectful in this area. Never bring up something new in the middle of sex. Talk about it outside the bedroom, express yourself outside the bedroom so that you can freely express yourself inside the bedroom.

8. Study each other’s love language. This can get sticky. Often, we think our love language is the path to theirs. So, because we want gifts, we give them and then we wonder why it’s not received well. Have this conversation and learn what they like and dislike. Most people's love languages differ from their partners, so understanding which is which and which is theirs is critical.

9. Talk about your childhood with each other. This can bring out a lot. So, this needs to be a safe space for each. I am not talking about what you did for fun as a kid. I am talking about which childhood events shaped you into who you are today. This can help build a bond and help each other understand why certain triggers come out. Having a parental issue can help you understand the neediness or abandonment issue one of you may have. 10. Create a schedule for quality time with no distractions. Prioritize time together, quality time together. Put the kids to bed early. Get grandma and grandpa to help, ask auntie to take the kids. Put away the work computer and TV remote and reconnect. Sit in front of the fire and look into each other’s eyes and just be present. Take a walk and hold hands. Make dinner, sit with a glass of wine and just talk. Slow dance in the kitchen. Creating moments that you can turn into rituals will ultimately help strengthen any relationship. Make each other a priority. Your relationship matters.

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