If You Want To Feel More Connected To Your Partner, A Psychologist Recommends These 10 Tips
Feeling a bit distant from your partner can happen in the happiest of relationships. Life's obligations can get in the way of your intimacy and connection, but making an effort to get closer is not impossible. If you want to feel more connected to your partner, experts say that it's time to communicate with them, as well as focus on what you can do during those small, everyday moments. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show stresses that the tiniest actions can have the most significant impact. He also emphasizes that the key to confronting your feelings of disconnection. Letting your partner know that you are feeling disconnected is critical, as it sets the stage for problem-solving.
"The more we can 'micro bond,' where we engage in small actions that keep us connected and strengthen the connection, the more effective and lasting the bigger bonding moments are," Dr. Klapow tells Elite Daily. He explains that while grand gestures, like taking a romantic vacation, can make us feel closer to our partner, that connection is fleeting. By doing daily small things for your SO, in a way that's spread out and not too intense, you'll be creating the longevity of a long-term partnership. "These acts of connection work when the time is right," Dr. Klapow says. "Don't assume if you just carry these all out, your partner will love you and feel instantly closer — they may actually think you're being a little weird".
Read on for small gestures that can help you slowly take steps toward feeling closer to your partner.
Emphasize Casual Touch
There are so many ways to incorporate affectionate touch into everyday moments. If you are moving around the kitchen, try touching your boo's waist or shoulder when you walk by. If you are both getting ready in the bathroom, you can kiss them on the cheek. Something sweet and small can make your partner feel noticed and cared for.
Stroke Their Hair
Dr. Klapow recommends touching your partner's hair more (if you have their consent) because there are tons of nerve endings in the scalp. This can mean massaging their scalp while you watch TV or playing with their hair while you're reading near each other in bed.
Hold Their Hand
Hand-holding is another great way to feel connected, especially in a public space. It's such a silent way to express care for your partner and can make you feel like you're both trying to be more intentional about the time you're spending together.
Do Something Nice For Them
Doing something nice for your partner can include a broad range of surprises, such as making dinner for them when you know they won't necessarily have time to worry about what they're going to eat, making their bed, or noticing something in their house that needs to be fixed. Whatever it is, carrying out this small deed can show them that you're paying attention to their needs.
Give Them A Compliment
Compliments are so underrated. When it comes to what you love about your partner, there's no wrong way to shout it from the rooftops. Even if you believe your love for them is implicit, it can feel super good to hear confirmation of those feelings IRL.
Remind Them Why You Fell In Love
Dr. Klapow recommends that in more intimate moments, you remind your partner why you fell in love with them in the first place. Revisiting old stories you have from early on in your relationship can be a great way to reminisce over your connection. Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be a Shakespearean monologue for it to be meaningful and heartfelt.
Tell Them You Love Them
Even if it seems obvious, consider coming up with new ways to say those three little words. You can try new methods, like making more concerted eye contact or writing it on a note for them to find later.
Leave Them A Note Of Admiration
In the same vein of leaving bae a note with those three little words, you can also write them letters about how much you appreciate and admire them. These notes don't have to be super long, but honest time spent recounting the reasons why you love them can make both of you feel really connected.
Sit Closer To Them When You Watch TV
To feel more in tune with your partner, Dr. Klapow recommends that you center closeness in your downtime. For instance, if you like to watch TV together, you can sit closer together and potentially hold hands. Just the act of being closer can help foster feelings of connection.
Find Old Pictures And Display Them
Another way to feel closer to your partner is by celebrating your relationship and history together. Browse old pictures of the two of you and send them one via text while they're at work. Or go the old-school route and consider printing out a really great photo for you both to frame. You could even consider making a photo book of your relationship for an upcoming anniversary or birthday. Ultimately, it's about taking moments here and there to appreciate and emphasize your importance to one another.
"Feeling disconnected is normal and doesn't have to be held in secrecy," Dr. Klapow says. "Let them know how you feel, tell them the things that make you feel connected and tell them you want to feel connected. Then ask them to engage with you in activities that promote closeness. Approach it with an open and honest line of communication. The more upfront and the more focused on problem-solving, the easier it is to reconnect." If you want to feel closer to your partner, it's likely because you have a connection worth preserving and protecting. Relationships are like gardens — sometimes, they need a little extra water, sunlight, and pruning to fully bloom.