“Is my partner there for me?” We all want to be able to answer, “Yes.”
The following suggestions are rooted in understanding our physiological responses to connection and attachment. The truth is, we are mammals, we have hormones that make us feel good or bad in response to the way we interact with other mammals.
One of the best ways to make sure that your relationship can weather challenges to trust and safety, is be mindful and intentional about making sure that your bodies are creating good feelings with each other. Sustained and regular touching, eye contact, emotional sharing release important hormones that are vital to our mental and physical health.
An important thing to keep in mind as you read through these suggestions is that these are all invitational, not all of them will “work” or “should work” for every couple.
If the idea of doing most/many these activities feels uncomfortable or aversive, that is information that you should explore more deeply.
Is the discomfort something you can and want to push through?
Or is it something that you need to respect and back away from?
Think of this in terms of good stretching and bad stretching. Listen to your body, it's okay to push through a certain level of pain/aversion, it's also okay to say ‘too much’ and back away.
If you're backing away, that is important information. You want to feel good with your partner, so what is holding you back? It’s something to think deeply about and perhaps process with a therapist.
These activities can help us move into feelings of safety, trust, and love by physiologically releasing pleasure and bonding hormones thus building a sense of familiarity and connectedness.
Spend time most days building feelings of familiarity and safety with shared physical activity such as: