Most people know how it feels at the beginning of a relationship when the two brains are busy coming together, like in the “honeymoon phase.” Romantic love produces high levels of dopamine, creating feelings of euphoria and the resulting behaviors between them. You are at the beginning of building emotional security, putting energy into prioritizing, listening to, and validating each other. Your best face is forward in your kindness and attention as you gradually build up important trust between you. Spend a lot of time thinking about each other, and you may feel the warm, diffuse of a loving buzz.
Much has been said about the fact that this phase usually fades away. Hopefully, the couples stay with the aspects of each other that they fell in love with to flow with the ups and downs of life together. It can be quite fluid, but often not. If there is an over-focus on early love and there is not enough insight into the realities of others, including the less desirable parts, the transition can be a challenge. As vulnerabilities or “warts” begin to unfold, how do couples adapt?
Let’s get back to emotional security. With the glow of the “honeymoon” out of sight in the rearview mirror, they have to rely on other connecting points. Ideally, they should enjoy being with each other, trusting and respecting each other, and sharing relationship goals in order to thrive. If they have a general goodwill and a collaborative spirit, they can prevent the mistakes or pitfalls of life from undermining their ability to trust each other.
But what makes intimate partnerships thrive in the long run? Communication, conflict resolution, crisis management skills, finance and parenting opinions are some of the few keys, but there is one aspect that can be missed.
Small moments are the glue often overlooked in long-term relationships.
Life goes on. Days become weeks, months, and then years. Couples need to adapt to the things that happen internally and externally in their lives. But the “little moments” of their ongoing interaction patterns are critical. The list of these moments can be endless as people feel loved in different ways but the important thing is that whatever it is for each person in the relationship, that the small moments pass and with a certain regularity. Here are a few:
- Flirty look.
- Ask for your day, with authenticity.
- A spontaneous hug.
- Text to register during the working day.
- Cervical massage while watching TV.
- Use of love nicknames.
- Bring coffee from the couple.
- A kiss or a hug in the transitions. (hello, goodbye, good morning, good night)
- Playful touch on the back pass.
If you think back to the beginning of your relationship, many of the above or others may have passed. You were both very clear that you cared and felt loved. It’s natural for some of the most intimate behaviors to diminish over time, but all that falls is a red flag. And for some of you, none of you have been there, and you may be thinking about the impact of that.
Regardless of what happens in the relationship, the message is sent to each other that they are loved and that matter is a critical component. Loving micro-behaviors are unique to each couple and are a common thread that keeps them connected over time. Be aware that people have different levels of need for these, so in some cases one may need them desperately to stay connected and for the other they may not be as organic (due to previous experiences and styles). of affection). All of this can be quite complicated and unfortunately leads to resentment and disconnection if not addressed.
Uh oh. The “tail” is missing from my relationship.
Lack of privacy outside the bed can freeze privacy inside the bed. For many who need intact general intimacy to feel well connected, the idea of having sex with their partner right now can feel literally negative. The long-term consequences of not having this thread or glue intact can be eroding the disconnection originally fueled by a feeling of slow rejection.
One solution is to ask your partner what you need. Even if it is not natural, they have the opportunity to create new habits for the good of your relationship. Hopefully, listen and respond to that. Sometimes it’s just a matter of laziness in the relationship for a long period of time.
If one or both of you do some of these, but the other has not been great in responding positively, try changing them. The risk is that the behavior will stop, leaving the relationship even more vulnerable to disconnection, without having the necessary glue to stay together.
If the problem deepens as a result of resentment or other unresolved issues, creating an obstacle for the microconducts mentioned above, seek couple therapy to deepen to try to get back on track.
Little things matter legitimately.
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