It's the little things that make relationships bigger

Has your relationship with your partner become more and more separate? Many couples tell me they hardly spend loving time together. Their evenings are nebulous and they don't know how to bring themselves to meet one another in a meaningful, close way.

Couple on the beach

We've got very used to life being fast, stimulating and full on. We are experts at doing several things at the same time, especially with technology. We fill up all the space. How, in the midst of all this can you have a connected, loving relationship? 

Relationships are the spaces between the doing things. They are the stopping, connecting, being, calming, loving and the deepening. But, when we are so hooked on the busy activity, the stopping, relating and maybe creating intimacy can feel very unfamiliar and even scary. What to do?

First, let's do nothing! Let's create space in among all the thought and activity, and invite in the art of just being with your partner. We don't need big happenings in this space. They would get in the way. We don't need to achieve anything. We just need to feel safe enough together to let go of the doing.

Now let’s make this a bit more concrete

The space you create together could be an actual ‘sacred space’. Take some cushions, a candle or two, maybe some flowers. You may like some gentle music playing in the background. Whatever you fancy to create a space that's conducive for you and your partner to just be in. Turn off all phones, bleeps etc! This space represents the move from doing to being. It says, "this is our time, just to be".

Sit in this space with your partner. Ideally, sit on the floor on cushions or backrests opposite one another, but very close. Sitting in a different way from the way you usually sit, creates a distinction from the usual doing part of our lives. And breathe! So often, we forget to breathe, especially when we’re running around doing things. Or we just breathe in the upper part of our bodies. It's no wonder we get anxious or feel driven, which is not conducive to loving time with our partner.

Now, this may be a little risky, but try taking some slow, deep breaths and looking into each other's eyes. Look and look as if for the first time. You may find you're a bit giggly at first and then, as you settle down into this connection, you begin to breathe together. It just seems to happen that way. You breathe in together and out together. Keep it slow. Lovely, calming and simple.

When you look at your partner like this, it becomes so much more than looking: a loving, a connecting, a bonding perhaps. You may like to tell each other something that you really love and appreciate about the other, you could each do that a few times.

You’ve created a wonderful transition from the activity of the day to slowing down together and connecting to where you both are now. This can be so useful when you feel a bit edgy and separate from one another. And you’ve taken the first step into honouring your partner and your relationship, yourself too. My guess is, it feels pretty good and is not too difficult to do.

The sacred space and this slowing down can help you transition into shaping your time together. It opens a door. How shall we be together this evening? Let's share, let's stroke each other, let's cuddle, let's curl up and watch a movie, let's just stay quiet and see what happens. The doing things often have a feeling of bigness and shape, whereas the being together is smaller, quieter and often subtle. 

The small things can really make a big difference.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Folkestone, Kent, CT20
Written by Priya Tourkow
Folkestone, Kent, CT20

Hello. I specialise in Couples Counselling and psycho-sexual Therapy for couples and individuals, offered with integrity and a supportive down to earth approach. Many couples find it helpful to have the support and guidance of a couples therapist when they are facing difficult relationship issues....


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