Always Having it "Together" Might be Driving you and your Partner Apart
The #1 way to bore your partner to pieces is to be emotionally distant or unavailable. Emotions and feelings are what make us uniquely human and our individual selves. They allow us to connect to and relate with one another. If you are not able to connect on an emotional level with your partner, you feel lonely and totally bored.
People who are emotionally distant tend to intellectualize almost everything, rarely show vulnerabilities, and do not dare seem insecure. Not sure if this describes you? Ask yourself, "Do I always need to show people that I've got it all figured out? That I'm always together? Is this how I come across to my partner?" Or, perhaps this sounds all too familiar and describes your partner to a tee.
Before you start chasing them around the house asking them to be more vulnerable and “open," realize that understanding one’s own feelings or sharing them with others is not easy for many. Societal norms, the role of our parents in our lives, and a long list of other considerations particular to each person’s personal psychology all influence our ability to be emotionally present and open. So take a deep breath – this might take some time.
If you believe you are emotionally cut off from your partner, or if your partner is becoming the bore, below are 5 steps to help you to connect to your emotional core in a positive way and open your heart – even if just a little bit at time.
Realize you are not alone.
At one time or another, everyone has experienced discomfort with or out of touch with their emotions. There are many reasons why people choose to close off the connection to their feelings. Most are related to our upbringing, cultural influences, and a fear of what might happen if we show how we really feel about things, people, and even ourselves. Particularly in Western culture, being emotionless, “stable as a rock,” is associated with having confidence and strength of character. However, understanding your insecurities, weaknesses and what you fear actually enables you to be confident - not the other way around.
Feelings are like a water faucet.
Unfortunately, you can’t turn on certain feelings, and turn off other feelings. If you shut off your feelings, you cut off access to all of them – even the good ones. Naturally people try to avoid experiencing difficult feelings (sadness, weakness, scared, fear) – that makes sense, doesn't it? However, by shutting down unpleasant feelings - you inevitably shut down access to the positive ones too.
Turn the satellite dish currently facing out to face in.
One easy way to start to access your emotional core is to notice what your experiencing on the inside when interacting with others. People who are cut off emotionally are often consumed with thinking and worrying about what is going on outside of and around them. Catch yourself when you start to judge or react to others. Stop and think, "What am I feeling right now?"
Know the primary emotions – luckily, there are only 4.
We all experience feelings all the time, however it can be challenging to pin point exactly what the emotion is that you are feeling. Start with the primary feelings - these easy to identify. Just by paying attention and noticing which of these primary emotions you are experiencing, you’ll be surprised how much easier it becomes to identify what is happening in your emotional core. You may find that you are actually filled with feelings of all sorts! The four primary feelings are:
Start to check in with yourself – every day, 3 times a day.
Don’t over think it - simply ask yourself 3 times a day, “How am I feeling right now.” Pull out a note pad or your smart phone and quickly jot down what's happening for you and notice the feeling. By practicing noticing your feelings, you will begin to be more connected to what is happening for you. Although you may discover that your feelings vary and fluctuate widely across a spectrum and your emotional life may seem “messier”, the payoff is well worth it. Your partner and you will have the ability to connect at a deeper, more emotional and intimate level. No one will be the bore.