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4 Important Ways to Cultivate a Deeper Emotional Connection in your Relationship

Learning-disabilities-toronto-psychologistPerhaps you are enjoying the freshness of a new relationship. Everything seems so exciting and romantic. Maybe you want to start laying the foundation for something potentially more serious. Without leaving behind the fun and playfulness, how do we start connecting on a deeper emotional level? Everyone knows that communication is one of the primary ingredients of a successful relationship. How do you specifically utilize our communication skills to create a deeper bond? Here are some important ways to nourish your relationship and deepen your emotional connection.

Actively Listen

Proper listening is at the heart of successful communication. Do you really listen when your partner talks to you? It is not only important to be focused and give your partner your full attention but the best communication comes from participating actively while listening. When your partner is speaking to you, practice active listening by:

· Watching your partner’s body language and gestures

· Making a conscious effort to hear the message your partner is communicating

· Paraphrase or restate what you hear so that you are able to confirm with him/her that you understand what he/she is saying.

Active listening will help you get to know you partner’s personality as a whole. The more you actively listen, the more you will understand and be able to strengthen the emotional connection.

Empathize

Empathy is the ability to recognize, share and understand the feelings of another person. Do you have an idea of how your partner is feeling most of the time? Practicing empathy leads to a better understanding of your partner’s perspective. This allows you to learn more about how your partner thinks and feels and what moods and patterns they experience therefore opening a door into their emotional tendencies. To share empathy with your partner it is necessary to share feelings and emotions associated with specific experiences. Sometimes open-ended questions are needed to explore unexpressed emotions:

· What was it like for you when….

· Tell me more about what was going on for you when….

· What were you experiencing when…

Empathy allows you to be present with your partner and actively show that you care. Empathy also lets you to be supportive when your partner is experiencing negative situations, thoughts and emotions.

Appreciate

Showing appreciation is a way of displaying affection verbally. This is just as important as showing affection physically. What do you value about your partner? Do you thank your partner for his or her positive qualities? It is an important part of communication to verbally show your appreciation. Small expressions of gratitude and politeness such as saying please and thank you go a long way. Frequent compliments and flirtation are nice ways to keep the spark in a relationship going too.

· Thank you for ….

· It means a lot to me that you….

· I love when you….

Self- Disclose

To have a good emotional connection in a relationship you must be able to self-disclose. This allows your partner into your world and lets him/her truly get to know the “real” you while gradually sharing your vulnerabilities.

Examples of this type of self-disclosure include:

· Telling stories and experiences from your childhood

· Sharing your dreams and passions

· Talking about the significant people in your life

· Explaining some of your fears

Proper communication has the power to create strong feelings of trust, love, bonding and satisfaction in your relationship.

Of course, for a relationship to be successful you should be receiving all of the above from your partner. If you find yourself practicing the above list without much in return, it might be time to reevaluate the relationship.

By: Danielle Taylor

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About Danielle Taylor

Danielle Taylor is a graduate of NYU Steinhardt with a Masters in Counseling, Applied Psychology and she has a BA in Psychology from Yeshiva University. She has experience working with high functioning young adults on the autism spectrum at the JCC Manhattan and she has volunteered at the Toronto Distress Center with the suicide hotline. Danielle takes special interest in counseling and coaching people who are dating, in relationships and working through breakups.


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