Let’s face it- humans are complicated.
In this digital era, it can be difficult to form an emotional connection. More so now than ever, people are guarding their hearts, and blocking any chance at a valuable emotional bond. Why?
Ever heard of catching feelings? It has positive and negative connotations, depending on who you ask. It’s almost become a downfall to have normal human feelings towards another being. Having feelings means being vulnerable; opening yourself up to a partner knowing they have the potential to hurt you.
Yet, there’s no reward without risk.
Sure, we can stay holed up in our Rapunzel-esque castles for years and years waiting for our Prince/Princess Charming to come along, but to what avail?
The only way to have a deep, meaningful connection, is to be open to giving one in return. Here are five of the best ways to be more emotionally available when it comes to your significant other.
1. Find the pain point.
If you find yourself being emotionally avoidant, take this as a chance to grow as a person in your mentality and weak areas. Chances are, you haven’t fully healed from trauma or experience that hurt you, and that’s okay.
Most of the time, emotional distancing is tied to insecurity, or a sense of unworthiness- keeping partners at arm’s length. While this works as a self-defense mechanism, it does little for your relationship.
Ask yourself these six questions:
- Do you have difficulty trusting people? If so, did your partner do anything substantial to break your trust?
- Do you keep conversations surface level instead of diving into your personal life?
- Are you constantly looking for faults in your partner or waiting for a red flag?
- Is it challenging to express deeper emotions unless intoxicated?
- Do you take responsibility for how your actions could harm your partner, or is it always their fault?
- What does vulnerability mean to you?
Asking yourself the hard questions can take an emotional toll, but it’s needed to sort out where the injury in the heart lies. If it seems too much to stomach, you can always reach out to a neutral third party, like a therapist or counselor to help guide you.
2.Communicate on issues.
Ah, the big “C” word. It’s easier said than done when it comes to communication, but it fixes 99% of problems.
This isn’t all just fighting and making up though; in fact, communication is the very essence of everything. From first impressions, initial dates, and long-term friendships– it’s at the root of it all.
Deep talks about past memories, future goals, and life experiences enforce emotional intimacy. Try a conversation starter, or a fun question game if your mind is running blank.
On the flip side, if you’re feeling lost in the relationship, it’s time to speak up respectfully. Address your concerns in an empathetic way to your partner, but be open to listening to their reply. Half of quality communication is in the delivery, and the other in the response.
Here are five bonus tips on how to communicate more effectively in your love life.
3. Take responsibility when needed.
Unfortunately, the likelihood of everything always being your partner’s fault is pretty close to zero. Actually, it’s zero.
Nobody is perfect, not us, not you. It’s life.
Apologizing for your wrongdoings is definitely not easy, but alas, it’s necessary. Think about how the other person feels about always being in the wrong. It’s not a pleasant feeling. If anything, it shows them a lack of empathy and understanding from your side. Let’s patch things up!
Ever heard the phrase, “I’d rather win you than the argument.” Well, it’s true.
Relationships aren’t about keeping a scoreboard, they’re about compromise and openness. Wouldn’t you rather have your partner by your side than a point on the goal post?
For example, if you like receiving gifts but your partner values words of affirmation, the best way to apologize would be to give them confirmation of your feelings, care, and love for them. It will reflect that you value them deeply and are paying attention to the way they desire to be loved.
4. Face your fears.
Naturally, as humans, we hate being bad at things. This is why so many people never branch out and try something new. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is your emotional availability.
Don’t rush your healing– it’s needed and personalized to you. The only thing you can do to progress swiftly in the motions is to be proactive about the aspects you can change. This could be journaling, speaking to friends, planning an intimate date night with your lover, or reaching out to a trained professional.
No matter what steps you take, any step in the right direction is a positive force for growth. It’s another leap towards being emotionally available and open to your partner, for yourself and your inner peace.
5. Cope in a healthy way.
Shutting people out and keeping yourself distant from love might last for the short term, but it’s only putting a bandaid on a bruise. There’s no real point, and it’s not helping you.
The best way to cope is the way that comes the most naturally to you– without hurting anyone else.
Humor, positivity, an uplifting group of friends, physical hobbies, and meditation are all free ways to release positive endorphins in the brain. It’s 100% a mindset objective.
Your present does not copy your past. Changing the way you view relationships and emotional availability allows you to slowly embrace it whole-heartedly.
If this is too uncomfortable to take on by yourself, give therapy a go!
Around 41 million Americans last year alone received some form of therapy, and the number is only growing. Look at us out here being emotionally healthy- it’s a win!
Before you go, we’d like to say that we’re so proud of you for making the initial first step in growing your emotional availability. As challenging as it may be, the payoff is well worth the work.
When it comes to emotional availability- there’s a whole avenue of ways to improve and grow in being comfortable. It truly takes a combination of time, energy, and daily habits to break the mold and send you soaring in the right direction. With these tips, you have paved the way to starting the process!
Everyone deserves a loving, stable relationship, without fear of rejection or past troubles. You’re more than capable of achieving emotionally available on your terms, in your timeframe.
To love and happiness, and another step closer to even more emotional availability in relationships!
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].