Want to know how to shift your lesbian relationship from disconnected to connected, fast?
It’s easier than you think.
The key is to tune in to your honey like you probably haven’t in quite a while.
If you’re like me, you might occasionally catch yourself going through the day on auto-pilot. Sometimes (ok, pretty often), I’ll be having dinner with my partner and I’ll suddenly realize that she’s in the middle of a story. It’s like her voice starts to fade-in mid-paragraph, and I realize I missed the whole first part. Yikes!
Then I have to eat crow and ask her, “Babe, could you say that first part again? I missed it.” I can assure you that at that moment, my partner feels dropped. Disconnected. And so do I.
An occasional moment of disconnection is normal and doesn’t ruin couples. But if those moments are chronic and happen all the time…well, it can make you wonder if you’re even in the right relationship.
The solution isn’t to bail, to get out. The fix is to make a commitment to tune-in. And I’m not just talking about listening.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes tuning-in will be really inconvenient. So, it’s going to take intention and effort on your part when you’d rather be zoning-out or doing your own thing.
But if you’re tired of feeling lonely, lean into the part of you that aspires to be more connected. And learn how to shift your relationship from disconnected to connected with these 5 simple strategies:
You’ve got to turn your attention toward one another to feel connected.
Focusing your attention on your partner will make her feel like she matters to you. And chances are very high, that if you look into her eyes for a few seconds, she’ll return the favor and bring all her attention to you in that moment. Deliberate eye contact is magical.
Tell her you want her to be with you for a little while. Ask if it’s a good time, or if she needs a few minutes to wrap up whatever she’s doing.
Then, when you’re ready to fully pay attention to each other, eliminate all the pesky, connection-zapping distractions. Turn off your phones, shut off the TV, stop ruminating about work, and sink into being present with one another.
Talk, laugh, flirt, be connected.
To linger in the warmth of connection, do this in the morning before you get out of bed, at least once every evening, and right before you go to sleep.
Let your partner know that you appreciate her. Every. Single. Day.
Tell her what you like about her. Let her know what qualities, quirks, and quips of her’s you think are the cat’s meow. Point out the things she does that you’re grateful for. And why.
I’m not kidding! Expressing appreciation and gratitude is gold.
It’s a great way of making deposits into your relationship bank account. Cha-Ching! And when your relationship bank account is sitting pretty, your connection is, too.
Been hearing about the importance of Date Night?
Well, in my humble opinion, it’s true. And naturally, dates can happen any time of day. Not just at night.
Doing activities together (that you both enjoy) repairs disconnection remarkably well. Especially activities that make plenty of room for conversation.
Of course, this effect is amplified when you combine fun activities with the kind of focused attention and appreciation I just talked about. So off with the phone, and on with affirmations.
Get an even bigger bang for your activities buck by throwing in the strategies of affection and the art of asking. Read on.
Physical touch is likely the most immediate way to reconnect. It might not be enough to bring on a flood of deep emotional connection. But it sure primes the pump.
If you didn’t grow up in a “touchy-feely” family, this could be a challenge for you. (Just remember, you might have to be inconvenienced a bit in order to tune-in and reconnect.)
Go ahead. Find multiple opportunities throughout your day to hug, kiss, hold, touch, stroke, and spoon your partner.
If she’s (or you’re) like a rock or an island (and tends to avoid physical closeness), do what my teacher, Stan Tatkin, Ph.D. calls the “catch and release” maneuver. Catch her for a little affection, and then release her with a little nudge to go do her thing.
And don’t forget about the super-reconnection power of sex.
When women have orgasms, we’re flooded with oxytocin: the love drug. This hormone is released post-orgasm, stimulating an intimate bond of trust and empathy. And when two women make love, watch out! The oxytocin is doubled, making twice the intimate connection.
Art Of Asking
Ok, here’s the obligatory part about how communication plays a lead role in feeling connected as a couple.
But instead of boring you with all the guidelines to effective communication, I’m going to cut to the chase.
My mentors, Ellyn Bader, Ph.D. and Peter Pearson, Ph.D. taught me about an often overlooked element of communication that is probably the most essential. And that is: asking questions.
Inquiring. Being curious.
When you and your partner are talking about a difficult topic, wouldn’t it be great if that conversation could end up with both of you feeling more connected than ever? It can!
The trick is to ask her lots of questions when she initiates a tough conversation. This will help you understand your partner’s thoughts, feelings, and desires better. And it will actually help her have a deeper understanding of herself. That’s a win-win.
Another time to ask powerful questions is when you’re just hanging out, or on date night. Thoughtful questions will make your time together less boring, more meaningful, and more intimately connected.
Put effort into mastering the art of asking good questions. It’s an advanced strategy to quickly move you from disconnected to reconnected with your sweetheart.
I hope you’ll try all these strategies if you’re feeling lonely and want to know how to shift your lesbian relationship from disconnected to connected. Chances are your partner’s feeling disconnected, too. So you’ll be giving her and yourself the gift of reconnection.
If you’re feeling really stuck, and can’t seem to rekindle any connection on your own, I hope you won’t throw in the towel. With the right professional help, you can get back to being a happy couple again.
The couples counselors at the Lesbian Couples Institute are experts at helping couples reconnect even if you’ve fallen out of love. We’d love to help you feel deeply connected again.