Where is the Love?
Are you missing that deep rich wealthy feeling of love between you and your partner?
This can happen, as the world and it’s to-do lists creeps in. We get lost in living or seeing a set role in each other, we take each other for granted, we obsess over what is lacking, and we lose sight of the initial spark.
If you are in a loving, healthy relationship worth fighting for, you need to become aware of the seductive thoughts that will pull you away from the love. Away from the romance. Away from the erotic. Knowing these will help you shift the way you exist in your partnership.
The relationship you are in, is the relationship that you cultivate.
KEY CHECK POINTS
Look at the questions below to check in on your view of your relationship at present. What glasses are you wearing to view your loved one through?
When was the last time you genuinely felt deep appreciation for your loved one?
What is the most mysterious thing about your partner?
Are you seeing your partner as a person in a set of roles, rather than a unique and mysterious human being finding their way through life?
Do you feel like you are on an adventure together with your partner?
Are you two building a future together?
Are you two building a present together?
Do you two happily reminisce about the beautiful shared moments from your past, together?
Do you celebrate each other’s differences, and become curious as to how this expands your world?
Is your sex life deeply erotic? Do you get surprised and thrilled in the bedroom? When was the last time you had sex?
Do you know your attachment style? Do you know how is it impacting your experience of your relationship?
Your attachment style will deeply influence the way you show up in a relationship. Three key attachment styles are: (1) secure, (2) anxious, and (3) disrupted. You can work with a coach or psychotherapist to more deeply understand your attachment style and how to develop more meaningful and satisfying relationships by adjusting to how you bond to your loved ones. Doing this, makes for a rich and sumptious way of life as those you love colour the tapestry of your days.
If you have a secure attachment style, you know that love doesn’t change. Love is always present between you and someone else. Even if you are no longer together, or if you love yourself too much to stay in an unhealthy relationship. This gives you a solidity, a constancy, and a ease of loyalty and honesty with your partner. You are good at building trust. You create a stable foundation for love.
Where you may have a blind spot, is that you suggest and try to help your partner, who may not be as secure. In doing this, you may come across as controlling to them. Even though you aren’t controlling. So a simple shift you may want to make in a relationship, is to step back from being over involved in helping your partner. Make simple suggestions, using few words, and then leave the rest up to them for their personal matters that don’t affect what you are building together. Don’t take responsibility for their way of living their life, or their emotions.
Another blind spot may be recognizing that you are more securely attached. You may not understand when they get upset, as you perceive that you have done nothing wrong. Which may be the case. So, what you need to develop is to understand that, even when you have done nothing wrong, the other person may project their pain onto you. She or he may react to internal habits of thoughts or issues with mistrust. And you don’t have control over this. By accepting that you are good at creating a stable love connection, and accepting that the other person is different, you can honour your self and create more space for compassion. For the other person, and for your self. From here you can move forward to make choices that are the best for all concerned, with respect for both of you.
Lastly, securely attached people may have difficulty seeing when they are not in a good relationship. As your attachment style changes based on the intimate relationships that you have in your life, you may want to pay more attention as to whether your current relationship is healthy for you. If it is not, then you do need to communicate to your partner that things need to change, to create a secure love, or you will need to make decisions to care for your own love health.
If you have an anxious attachment style, you may deeply desire a feeling of full and satisfying love, but you may keep double checking if you have it. Even though you are in a loving partnership. You may keep score, of who does what, and who loves the other more. You may get unreasonably jealous or worried about infidelity and act out by flirting with someone else or creating distance.
If you are anxious in your attachment style, you do need to check in on your self more. Are you creating stories where no truth to the story exists? Are you feeling anxious? If you are feeling anxious, take a moment to practice mindfulness, breathe, do a yin yoga class, go for a run outside, have a deep sleep, stay off coffee, or something else that calms your nervous system down and puts you in parasympathetic mode.
Find a place of deep love for your self. Ground into this feeling and emotion. Become very present and honest with your self. From here, then feel the love you have for your partner. Appreciate and see and call to mind, the ways your partner shows love to you. Is it possible that you are misinterpreting events? Instead of distancing, connect. Connect through an activity together. Talk about your worries and be vulnerable about these. Ask the question, “How can we create a more stable foundation for me to build more trust with you?”
Also, people with anxious attachment can tend to attract others with disrupted attachment. This can increase the degree of anxious attachment. If you are married to someone who has a disrupted attachment style, then they two of you do need to put in the work to shift your way of connecting to each other. There does need to be the decision, as per the quote above, to not give up on each other, and to learn how to create a healthy and healing and beautiful love.
You will know if you have, or have acquired, a disrupted attachment style, if you perceive independence and individual self reliance as the most safe, most valuable way, to live your life. You will prefer solitary activities over connecting to others. You find connecting to others somewhat annoying. This is different than being introverted, as introverts tend to love one to one conversations that review meaningful and deep content. These kinds of conversations will make a disrupted attachment neural network, uncomfortable.
One key to knowing if you or your partner has an active disrupted attachment style, is something called “phantom ex syndrome”. This is where a person is still thinking about, wondering about, focused on a past partner and wondering if he or she should still be with them. It’s a way to shield oneself from intimacy, because of fear of getting hurt. It hurts the current partner, because a person can not compete with an idealized version of another, especially an idealized version that would disappear should you actually be facing intimacy with that idealized version of the “phantom ex”. If this is you, it’s time to face facts, be in the present moment, move out of fantasy and into reality, and look further into understanding how to heal from a disrupted attachment style. If this is your partner, who focused on a “phantom ex”, then it is time to bring this into conversation, as part of self love and asking for a loving secure and healthy relationship in your life.
If you have disrupted attachment as your current style, you do need to put some work in towards healing. By working with a coach or therapist, you can begin to see your blind spots. As you begin to understand these, and work towards connection with others, you will be so richly rewarded by the quality of interaction that you can have with others. It is completely worth it. Like hiking a challenging mountain to reach resplendent views, enjoy the thrill of determination and perseverance, and touch point the pure mountain air that comes off glaciers, and other metaphors for an experience that you know will be good, but is ever so much better than expected once experienced.
Learning to connect with make you stronger, more resilient, and more successful.
Stay tuned for further reading, and more articles added to this post later.
Wishing you the best in expanding space for love in your life,