Keeping your relationship alive and healthy is one of the most critical things that you need to master if you’re going to have a long lasting and blissfully loving relationship.
The first step is to define what is a healthy and successful relationship.
The second step is to understand if you are not happy in your relationship, then chances are it is not growing, it is stagnating. So, the question then becomes:
“How do I actually keep my relationship growing deeper in love and thriving?
So, what is the process behind that? What is actually going on biologically, scientifically, and metaphorically to keep the ‘spark alive’ in your relationship?
Today I’d like to explain how that actually works.
When we are in a relationship of any description, we have to go all the way back to when we were a kid.
The fact is, I don’t know if you can recall it or not, but there was a time in your life potentially where you played games, and at the end of every one of those times, if you ask a child what the very next words that come out of their mouth are when that game finishes, it’s simply this:
“Let’s do it again” or, “I want to keep playing”
Deep, deep down in the recesses of our mind, in very specific parts of our brain, there’s a little child inside of us that just craves to feel good.
The reason playing is so effective is because when you play a game with someone, and feel good as you play it, our brain can’t help but produce small doses of something called Oxytocin.
Oxytocin is a bonding chemical that is released in significant amounts for mothers during the pregnancy stages and certainly after the child has been born. Oxytocin allows us to bond with things.
So, if Oxytocin allows us to bond with things, then when you’re playing a game, you’re releasing small amounts of Oxytocin, then the good news is you are bonding to the person whom you are playing with.
Now what does that really mean?
The good news is the more you are able to be present with other person (your partner), the more the bonding chemical is produced and released. Whilst connecting either through a fun activity or an engaging conversation… think of Oxytocin as the superglue. If you create a ‘feel good space’ for your partner or others, this opens the gateway to deeper bonding. When you’re able to engage fully in the moment with your partner and you both feel ‘safe’ with each other… Oxytocin gets produced.
So, how does this relate to relationships?
One of the best ways to be and feel ‘connected’ is learning to share your feelings.
The best way to being fully engaged and present, is the ability to connect to your emotions. This means getting in touch with your emotions and being able to articulate what they are.
Articulate your emotions
Articulating your emotions means to be able to feel and know where they are in your body, and then being able to put into words what those emotions/feelings are.
Where people go wrong, is when they ‘express’ those emotions, such as anger, by acting upon the feeling, such as throwing something, or yelling.
The BIG difference here is knowing, feeling and verbalizing what you feel… but not acting upon it by carrying out destructive behaviours to demonstrate that emotion.
Unfortunately, with insecurely attached relationships, it’s the emotions that override the conversations, and conflict becomes the norm in the relationship.
In summary, the best way to keep the emotional connection between you and your partner, is to learn to feel your emotions and verbalize them (not act upon the emotion, eg. such as anger). This is what we call EI -Emotional Intelligence and EL – Emotional Literacy.
When you are able to communicate on this level, you will find that you and your partner will have a deeper level of understanding and love for each other, that most people don’t ever get to experience.
If you would like to learn the tools and strategies to deepen your relationship, give us a call. We not only cover the greater Gold Coast and Tweed Heads area if you would like face-to-face, but we do online relationship counselling on Zoom or Skype.