December 9, 2014
There is something wonderful about the connection between men and women….
the balance and play of the masculine and feminine energies and the headiness and intoxication of first meeting and falling in love.
Then as time moves forward and the ‘honeymoon’ period settles, differences between the sexes begin to emerge.
This is the time you may find yourself asking questions like:
- ‘I don’t know if this relationship is for me; we seem so different?’
- ‘How can we make this work, we don’t seem to ‘hear’ each other?’
- ‘We have a great physical connection, but just can’t seem to talk about things that matter. Am I in the right relationship?’
I have had the pleasure of working alongside couples for many years, taking on the role as ‘tour guide’ for them learning to speak each other’s language…in many ways.
To build connection and understanding
Some useful tools and tips to be aware of when you want to build strong connection and have genuine understanding and appreciation of the differences between you and your partner are:
- Being mindful of body language cues and knowing when to ask what is going on for your partner
- Being conscious of the pitch, speed and volume that you speak to each other with. Men need to match the pitch, speed and volume that women’s eardrums vibrate at and likewise, women need to match men’s
- Speaking your truth as soon as (or as close as possible to) when you feel frustration of concerns arise. The more you ‘sit on’ things that are bothering you, the greater they become. When you let things build, they become disproportionate and your perception starts to make the issue greater than what it needs to be. There are simple skills for having wonderful and heart-felt conversations, even when you may be feeling a little raw and vulnerable.
- Setting time aside to spend quality time together where you make it a priority to ‘check-in’ with each other and discover each other’s needs, desires and any challenges that may be coming up
- Discovering from each the things that genuinely make each of you happy inside the relationship. Openly share wants, needs, fears, desires, and fully express how you best feel loved in a relationship (e.g. it may be through sharing quality time; appreciative words being spoken; lovely surprises; knowing you have the support of your partner to still have other people and activities in your life that are meaningful to you)
- Discussing with your partner how you genuinely feel heard and then comparing it with how they genuinely feel heard. The desire by women to talk through things is more prevalent than with men, so it important to negotiate and understand each other’s needs and then both parties choose what will work for the relationship to flourish. Be honest and DO NOT compromise your values – you both have the right to be who you are. The key is to be able to honour yourself and your partner
- Learning to unconditionally love and accept yourself and each other – all qualities, characteristics and traits without judgement and criticism. All aspects of you are what makes you unique and is to be embraced inside relationship
Author: Christine McKee, B Psych (Hons 1), Accredited Trainer of NLP, AMAPS.
If you are in Sydney and looking to resolve your differences check out our Sydney Relationship Psychologists.