The wonderful thing about this method is that it requires no speaking and no special skills. It doesn’t even require your partner to be present! But I have seen over and over again that it can truly change and significantly improve the nature of communication in a relationship.
I think we can all agree that things haven’t been easy for awhile now. For some that has led to problems in their romantic relationships. While this is an unfortunate side effect of the pandemic, it doesn’t mean we have to just accept this as a sort of new normal.
Getting to the point where you can consistently be emotionally available for your partner can be a difficult path and there is much that goes into it. One of the most important ingredients is self-esteem. It is hard and painfully difficult to let someone else inside the castle walls if we don’t like what is in there.
Parents can encourage healthy dating behavior by modeling positive behaviors in their own relationships. If teens see their parents engaging in healthy habits, they are more likely to do the same.
A therapist can educate people on healthy relationship skills, including sex, because it is healthy! They can also help people identify, process, and challenge existing thoughts or beliefs about what is “normal”. In turn, this can improve intimacy and decrease feelings of embarrassment for patients and their partners.
People tend to get particularly defensive when they feel outnumbered by those who do not share their view. In order to have a successful conversation, don’t go into it trying to change anyone’s mind. Rather, make it your goal to understand their view. “Help me understand your beliefs,” is a statement you could try. This might help the other person open up and realize they are not being attacked.
When our partner, friend, or loved one does something that “smells” like past wounds, our defenses go up. The fear of repeating the past comes out looking like anger. Even though we are wanting to be close with our loved ones (spouses, children, friends, and neighbors), old wounds — both emotional and physical — often stand in the way.