“How are you?”
It’s easy for communication to slide into cliches and the superficial, especially when our lives are busy and pressurised.
Our emotional connection can start to drift as a result. And that’s a problem in the making because the most important aspect of a healthy and lasting relationship is emotional connection.
“The greatest gift one lover has to give another, is emotionally attuned attention and timely responsiveness.” — Dr Sue Johnson
Johnson (leading couple’s therapist) defines love as: “a special kind of emotional bond, the need for which is wired into our brains by millions of years of evolution.” We are not meant to be alone! Secure and close connection is the foundation of good relationships. Disconnection brings anxiety and distress.
The best way to develop emotional connection is by going deeper in your communication to build real intimacy and trust. It takes open and honest communication.
‘Date nights’ are great for talking deeply. There is also an easy way of maintaining a good connection by asking three great questions, and building them into daily life as a new habit.
3 questions to stay deeply connected:
1. “What’s a high and a low from today?”
This is more searching and specific than: “How was your day?” The question will open up the positives, any struggles, and most importantly your emotional worlds. (It works brilliantly with kids too!)
2. “How do you feel about that?”
This is a great follow-on question when your partner is talking about their day, or anything that happened to them, and encourages them to go a little deeper, opening up communication further. It also means you can listen well and ‘sit’ with their experience, building greater understanding. Resist any urges to ‘fix’, just listen and empathise.
Some people find it hard to know what they’re feeling, or talk about emotions. They might prefer to analyse a situation by answering this type of question with: “I think…” That’s ok. The point is to encourage your partner to reflect on their experience and talk about how it affects them.
3. “How can I support you?”
Asking your partner how you can support them communicates love and commitment. You may want to be more specific: “How can I support you today / tomorrow / this week?” The question gives your partner the opportunity to express their needs, and it gives you clear direction on how to meet those needs. When you show that you’re there for your partner they are more likely to be there for you.
We all fall into certain communication habits, for the good and not so good, especially with our partner! Toucan Together helps you discover deeper ways of communicating and find positive approaches for resolving arguments, grow intimacy, trust and more. Get started by taking the‘Pulse’ of your relationship with our short research-based quiz and see the health of your relationship across seven key indicators. GET STARTED NOW | LOG IN