Have you ever pulled that one piece out of a puzzle and made the whole thing fall apart? You probably stood there feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the thought of all your work and effort lying there in a heap.
Every relationship takes time, commitment and nurturing to grow and sustain. The one piece that holds everything together is the emotional connection that has been built within your relationship and your ability to maintain it. Emotional connection is the core essence that lights the fire within a relationship. It is that one piece in your puzzle of love, commitment and marriage that if pulled out will cause distance and even separation if not properly addressed.
Often what women see, men tend to be oblivious to. It is not surprising, as men are raised to be the masculine hunter, protector, and provider. When you think of the stereotypical terms for women, you often include nurturing, supportive, caring and emotional. These stereotypes, on a psychological and sociological level, directly impact how men and women are brought up in society.
As you continue to think about men in psychological and sociological terms, consider how you, as the male, are impacted by this. Oftentimes, men do not notice this until they sit down and reflect on their life. For many men, attending to their emotions is much like driving a car. They simply take the wheel of a car and just drive. They do not really have to think about the mechanics and steps of driving anymore as you once did during drivers education. Driving becomes second nature, it is something that can be done subconsciously, without active thinking. The same is true for taking care of your emotional connections. It is likely that your behaviors are also subconscious. This is why it is so important to practice active reflection. This means that you take about 10 – 15 minutes on a regular basis to reflect back on your life and your relationship. Take a moment and try it now with this thought: think about your past conflicts or disputes. I guarantee you will re-experience more than one past emotion.
Below are 15 Tips to Help Men in their relationship. Better yet, “15 tips to help men not wait until the final straw to make changes”.
TIP # 1: “I LOVE YOU”
Saying “I love you” often is not enough. The words are powerful, but at the end of the day they are just words. Find creative ways or even simple and direct ways that will speak to your partner. Make sure that what you are doing represents “I love you”. You can even do the action and close it by using “I love you”.
- Leave a note inside your partners’ car while they are at work. Keep it short, sweet and to the point.
- Pick up extra household duties. Remember you are a team!
- Invite you and your partners friends for a surprise lunch, dinner or even small get together at your local Starbucks.
TIP # 2: MORE DATES = LESS FIGHTS
Take your partner on a date night. Think about the places that your partner has fond memories of. It doesn’t always have to be a romantic date or the typical dinner and movie. It could be something as simple as just the two of you putting an hour aside volunteering.
- Take your partner to a past location that brought upon past memories. Using a small note card, write down a past memory from the location that would speak to your partner on an emotional level.
TIP # 3: MIX IT UP
Make sure that the date night is different and creative. Think outside of the box. Emotional connections are created by experiences that forge two people together. Find new activities or places to encounter.
- Go to groupon.com and find an activity near you that you two have not participated in before.
- Push yourself out of the “comfort” funk.
TIP # 4: COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Ask questions about past conflicts. More often than not, you probably engage in some sort of dispute. There probably is a resolution to it and most likely you and your partner have simply walked away from it. Although what you have done is great, there continues to remain some built up anger or frustration from the past.
Ask your partner to sit down with you and talk about past conflicts.
- What started the conflict start?
- How did you react as a result of the conflict?
- How did your partner react as a result of the conflict?
- What ended the conflict?
- How can you learn from the conflict?
Find answers to these questions for awareness. Building emotional connection requires understanding of who your partner is and how they react. Conflicts are a result of a trigger which in turn cause some sort of emotional, physical or psychological reaction. So again, I encourage you to ask questions. Do not simply brush it under the rug.
TIP # 5: RESOLVE CONFLICT
Although you want to address past conflicts, don’t dwell on them. Spend more time on the “good times” then on conflict. Think about the last time you and partner did not see eye to eye. Did you spend a lot of time dwelling on it? I’m sure you did. Now think about a great date night or an occasion you had with your partner. More often than not, more time is spent on the negative then on the positive. Become aware of this and make a change.
- After a great lunch, send your partner text reminders on how much you enjoyed the time.
- A few days after sex leave your partner a note card reminding them of the experience.
- Hack your partner’s phone and input reminders of special occasions. For instance, the first time you kissed or made love.
Below is a video that goes over “how to resolve conflict”. Its a quick 4 min video. Short, sweet and to the point.
TIP # 6: GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE
Give yourself time off. Men need time to be men. This could mean that you need to spend a few hours playing video games, reading or playing sports. You need this time to recollect and find balance within your life. In return, when you feel balanced so will your relationship.
TIP # 7: BE MINDFUL
Remember your partner also needs time off. Make sure your partner takes time with friends or has their alone time.
- Be mindful and respectful during this process.
TIP # 8: SHARE EXPERIENCES
When you return from your time off, communicate with your partner on your experience. Talk about why you picked your activity and what you got out of it. By disclosing this content to your spouse, you are creating and maintaining emotional connection.
TIP # 9: SUPPORT EACH OTHER
Be your partner’s rock during heavy times. Carry for them when they need you.Your partner might not ask for help directly, but you should be alert and attentive to when your partner needs you. You can do this by:
- Paying equal attention to verbal and non-verbal communication.
- Understanding the differences in your partner’s demeanor or tone of voice.
- Sending your partner text messages, emails in addition to face-to-face communication asking “if everything is okay?” or “do you want to talk about what is troubling you?”
- Simply saying, “I can listen without giving you input if you want to vent.”
TIP # 10: LOVING EVERYTHING
Loving someone means loving all of them. There are already people in society who are going to judge and put down your partner, don’t be one of those people. Love your partner and all of them. Love their energy during sensitive subjects, love their moles or early onset of grey hairs. Find time to reassure your partner throughout the week that you love all of them by pointing out specifics.
Again, sometimes saying “I love you” is not enough.
TIP # 11: REGULATE EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS
Do not allow third parties such as in-laws, friends, family, or associates to impact your relationship. They may have their opinion about your partner, but you will not throw them under the bus. Root for and stand by your partner.
By doing so, you are creating an essence between you and your partner that even when you are not physically together, there remains a strong, long lasting emotional connection.
TIP # 12: AFFECTION
There are probably many things in your life that you, as a man, are awesome at. Think about your skills and how they impact your relationship. Maybe you are more affectionate than your partner. Your partner loves this about you. You feel that you would enjoy your partner in return to have this skill.
Teach your partner how you are affectionate. Show them on an emotional, psychological and physical level what that means and how it will impact the relationship. This will take time and commitment. The end result provides a sense of appreciation and emotional connection.
TIP # 13: SPECIAL MOMENTS
Enjoy the moments you have with your partner as if you were the type of person who lived for today rather than one who plans for tomorrow. Many men struggle in this domain as they put more energy into setting and preparing long term goals, than on what is taking place today.
Try and step back for a moment. Commit to something different. Commit to enjoying the moments of today. Spend time with you partner and enjoy the time you have with them now.
By doing so, you often find that your partner is happier and able to feel a stronger sense of your involvement.
Remember, planning for your future is important. It’s a necessary to create longevity. However, if you only focus on tomorrow, your vision will not see what is taking place today.
TIP # 14: ROMANCE
Keep your romantic life fresh.
– When engaging in physical romance do you find that you or your partner fall into a position without prompting, almost automatically?
It’s funny thinking about it. This actually happens to more couples then one would think. In essence it’s a powerful two-way message. One side highlights how well you and your partner understand each other romantically, physically and emotionally. On the other side it highlights that your romantic life is predictable.
When areas within your relationship become predictable there tends to be a decrease in romance, physical attraction, and emotional connection.
Keep it fresh by:
- Purchasing a karmasutra book.
- Trying new sexual activities.
- Increasing romantic gestures such as touching, kissing, or hugging.
TIP # 15: EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS
Men often feel that women, or their partner, will talk about them when they are not around. This includes when partners talk to other couples about sex life or topics within their relationship.
Men often feel a sense of anxiety when they realize that this is taking place.
- Confront your partner using the communication approach listed in numbers 9 and 25.
- Ask your partner what they are discussing, while making sure to include how that makes you feel. You might notice that your anxiety decreases when you find out what your partner is saying.
I’m hoping that you found clarity and direction in the reading. Below I have attached a link to my book “100 Ways Married Men Remain Emotionally Connected”. A fantastic book for men seeking help in their relationship.
As a side note: The book is for men. Clear, directive, and right to the point.
Click the link to purchase your discounted copy for $0.99