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3 Ways to show your partner that you are present and connected.

Do you want to be able to improve your relationship? Do you want to feel more connected with your partner? Beverley from Meaningful Minds Psychologists discusses 3 ways to show your partner that you are present.

How would you show your loved one that you care for them? Many consider taking their loved one to a lovely, expensive restaurant or giving them a bunch of roses or perhaps doing something to show them how special they are. This all costs a pretty penny against the backdrop of constant reminders to be more financially savvy; to save more. But how do we show our significant other that we care and value them without having to spend anything, and to be able to do this all year round?

Three ways to show your partner that you are present and interested and invested in the relationship are - communication, empathy and affection.

Communication is a vital component to any relationship. This is the foundation to starting and maintaining a connection, with another person, during good times and bad. Being able to share stories and feelings enable couples to understand and relate to each other better. Being able to tell your partner if you are having difficulty processing information, need some personal time, or if you are angry with them enables you to maintain your individuality within the relationship and remain in contact with your partner. Communication should be explicit thus avoiding any misunderstandings. Furthermore, rather than assuming something unsaid, ask your significant other and get clarity on the situation. In this way, future arguments or fights can be avoided. In addition, have at least one check-in with your partner during the day. This translates in you thinking of him or her and wondering about their well-being. This can go a long way in a relationship.

Empathy is about understanding how the other person is feeling. This is more than just listening to how their day went. It’s about reading between the lines and understanding how the events of the day made your significant other feel. Being empathetic is about focusing on and hearing what your partner has to say. Many of us understand the concept of empathy but few practice it in our everyday relationships. Feelings within ourselves can be tricky to recognise and understand, however feelings within others may be even trickier. In some instances, you may need to expand your “feeling” language in order to identify feelings which arise in your partner. However, don’t be afraid to get the feeling wrong as empathy is not about getting feelings wrong or right. Should you infer the incorrect feeling, your partner will correct you, appreciate that you are attempting to understand him or her, and invariably, feel a little closer to you.

Affection involves more than being intimate with the one you love. It also involves understanding the other person’s sense of what affection is to them. Some may feel that affection is simply sitting close and listening and sharing stories. Others may feel that affection includes holding hands, snuggling and giving kisses. Affection may be the words said to each other or the support given during good and bad times. Ask your partner what affection is and means to them as the likelihood of the both of you having the same definition of affection is slim. In doing this, you can understand what your partner needs in times of stress, sadness etc. Although, asking your partner for affection is completely acceptable and necessary as he or she may not always be aware of your need for affection. Affection or a physical connection may resemble or reflect the unseen connection you have with your loved one.

Understanding your loved one or asking them to help you understand when you do not, shows them that you care and value them. Not only for the things they do but for what and how they contribute to your life together. Remember that when it comes to relationships, there is no right or wrong way of being. However, there are three simple things – communication, empathy and affection - you can do to maintain your connection through good and bad times.

If you would like to know more about improving your relationship or would like to come in for a couples assessment session please contact us on 081 759 4849 or

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