Tuesday November 8th changed your world (and facebook feed) forever. Addicted to the train wreck, you follow the Trump Administration closely and alternate between anger and depression as you grieve. Maybe you’ve called your representative, knitted a pussy hat, and marched the streets downtown. You want to do something, anything to make this world feel right again. Advocacy, raising awareness, protesting, and donating are all worthy and important causes. Do what feels meaningful to you. But also invest in your relationship.
Romantic relationships are our secure base. When things are uncertain and the world feels like it’s going backwards, this is where we will find our solace. If you are partnered, you want your significant other to empathize, unite with you on advocacy work, and hug you when you are worried about our country’s fate. When the world feels unsafe, we need our relationship to be a place where we find comfort.
Love is the anecdote to hate. Giving and receiving love is what living is all about. Without love, we feel disconnected and alone. Rocky relationships spark insecurity and fear. Perhaps you worry that the damage can’t be reversed. Healing relationship wounds is possible. I’ve had the privilege of helping many couples reconnect and live happier love lives as a result.
Where do you start?
First step is feeling like you get each other. Remember when you first started dating and you talked for hours? Getting and feeling gotten by your partner is the foundation of a relationship. Start there. Start dating each other. Ask questions and really listen. Connect again. In the words of Brene Brown “Connection is the energy created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.” Here we find the love, safety, and security that we need right now.
Next up: Show fondness and appreciation. We focus on the negative when things get bad and our interactions get terse. We all want to feel loved and appreciated by our partner. The best way to show it is in their love language. There are five love languages and we all are drawn to some more than others in how we show and experience affection. You increase the chance your partner will understand if you express love using their love language.
What are the five love languages? One is touch (snuggling, hand holding, caressing). Another, words of affirmation (saying “I love you” and telling them how much they mean to you). A third, acts of service (making their favorite meal, shoveling out the car). Fourth, quality time (having a romantic dinner, watching the Cubs game). Fifth, gifts (buying them that thing that you know will make them smile). Many of us like all of them. But we really feel loved when our partner is using our love language.
Hope this helps! We all need support and comfort right now.