I can’t read minds, but sometimes I get lucky. A touch on the arm when my partner seems stressed, planning a fun weekend outing or asking a good question at the right time are all things that have made my partner feel seen, valued and known. But I can’t rely solely on my intuition forever, dropping random acts of kindness into our life hoping they will land. That’s where “Understanding Us” comes in. Learning more about each other and ourselves helps build an informed intuition as we pursue more frequent, natural and meaningful times of connection.
Take a moment to think of times you felt truly connected to your partner. Was it when they complimented or bragged on you in front of others? Or did you laugh together so hard you cried? Was it physical? Emotional? Relational? Stage of life and the demands of work and family can all impact how often, and in what ways, we connect. Here are some helpful categories of connection:
Face-to-face connection happens when you sit down and talk over a meal or touch base about your days after putting the kids to bed.
Side-by-side is more about doing things together. Taking a walk, watching a movie, hanging out with friends together or even sitting in silence reading good books in the same room.
Back-to-back connections are the times you and your partner get to exercise being a team and the biggest source of support for one another. Back-to-back includes the times you’re not even in the same room: speaking well of each other in front of others when they’re not around, making a meal or taking out the bins while the other is doing the laundry, being present and supporting each other at family gatherings and being an advocate for one another.
Connecting requires thought, knowledge and a little planning. Putting the work into learning one another takes time on the front end, but makes connecting physically, emotionally and relationally more effortless in the long run. Here are some questions you can ask your partner to help you discover connection points that are unique to you and your relationship. Take some time to think through how you would respond to these, too.
What are some of your favourite memories of our relationship?
What makes you feel connected physically? Including, but not limited to, our sex life?
When and how often do you desire intentional, face-to-face conversational touch points?
How can I “have your back”? What does that kind of support look like for you?
A great way to understand‘us’ now is by taking your relationship Pulse. Toucan Together’s Pulse quiz will give you a snapshot of where your relationships is right now across seven key areas. Get started in the Toucan Together app today and take your Pulse!
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