How to connect deeply with your partner

Written By Trix O’Callaghan (Counselling Psychologist) Pinkies

One of our basic psychological needs is to feel safely and securely attached.  We long for intimacy. We want to feel connected, understood, appreciated, nourished and acknowledged.  And when we don’t get those needs met, we protest. We get into a survival dance that is reactive and hurtful.

You may recognize some of the following survival strategies:  getting angry, shouting, swearing, criticizing, blaming, sarcasm, stone-walling, walking away and defensiveness.  The funny thing is, by reacting in this way, you are making absolutely sure that you won’t get what you are longing for!  And it creates horrific pollution in your relational space.  The space becomes a no-man’s land, with tension and darkness, fire, bullets and bombs.  It is a dance that goes nowhere and it leaves us hurt and helpless.

Imagine if you can develop the capacity to say “NO” to this destructive survival dance.  Be on the look-out for the “high-jack by extra-terrestrials” to whom the relationship has given room and board.  Remember that these aliens are not you, who you both truly are in your essences.

Say “YES” to the dance of life in connection, a new way of relating, a new discipline.  Cross the bridge into your partner’s world and observe with new eyes.  Be curious about the inner landscape of your partner.  You will discover amazing things!  Learn to listen with your heart and your soul, with no judgement.  Become bilingual by learning the language of your partner.

When you speak, let it be from a vulnerable place.  Invite your partner into your world and show the geography of your soul without attacking and blaming. Allow every wave of emotion to surge.  Share your innermost truth, what deeply matters to you, in a kind and gentle way.  In that way you are helping your partner to stay present to you, to listen deeply and to grow compassion.  This “into-me-see” creates the intimacy we are longing for.

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