We are not that far apart . . .

love snail eyes connecting

Sometimes it feels you are so far apart!  You want THIS and your partner wants THAT. You feel you are on opposing teams, going to battle for your needs and desires. In reality many times when we go beneath our surface wants, we really want the same thing.

Look at these examples of surface needs and more core needs underneath, are they not the same?

We are not that far apart . . .

“I want to have more sex more often.”  Core Need: I need to feel close and connected.                                                                                                                  

 “I want you to talk to me more.”   Core Need: I need to feel close and connected.                                                                                                                           

At first look, they may seem like two different desires: more sex and more talk. But underneath both are wanting closeness and connection. 


“You are always critical of me.”  Core Need: I need to feel safe and protected.

“You never listen to me.”    Core Need: I need to feel safe and protected.  

Again, at first look it appears to be two very different upsets – always critical and never listen. But essentially the core message of need is the same – safety and protection.


“Of course there are times were the core desire may not be the same. But regardless we can be on the same team, fighting for us, not against each other. We are normally not that far apart. When we are upset and in a negative state of mind, it all becomes heightened and feels so very intense. What can we do to get more on the same page and begin to see that we are on the same team?

Being on the Same Team

  1. Take Some Deep Breaths and Calm Yourself.  To really hear your loved one, you will have to be calm enough to really hear what they have to say.
  2. Beginning with the MINDSET, We Are on the Same Team!
  3. REALLY Listening to Each Other. This is not always easy. Because we are many times thinking of what we want to say. Just stopping and really hearing can so help to fully understand what is going on with your loved one.
  4. Reflecting or Acknowledging What You Think You Are Hearing. This simple act goes a long ways to resolving and coming together on the issue that is upsetting you both. We all want to feel heard. It calms our anxious brain to know that we are truly being heard and acknowledged. We can think more rationally when we are not on high alert. 
  5. Framing the Issue in Terms of, “What can WE do to make this better?” This is not about who is right or wrong. But about, “How can we make this better?”
  6. Recognizing that Solution Building May Mean Shifting and Adjusting. Basically, this means after we really hear our loved one and express our own feelings that we may need to shift to a place that works for both of us. This is about what is best for you as a couple, not just you as an individual.  Of course, you will have to truly feel good about what you choose to do. This can be the challenging part. But with love and respect for your partner this can happen and make you stronger as a couple and still incorporate your own needs.
  7. Using Dr. Sue Johnson’s 3 Key’s to Emotional Connection: A.R.E.  “Are you there, are you with me?”  A = Accessibility  R=Responsiveness  E=Engagement


Core Needs for All of Us to Have a Secure Bond

Secure, healthy relationships will have these components:

  • Feeling Safe and Protected
  • Feeling Loved and Nurtured
  • Feeling Connected 

So consider these core needs. Many times what we say we need or want are really at the core one of these components.

So remember, YOU ARE NOT THAT FAR APART.  You are on the same team!!!

Random Acts of Kindness in Your Relationship = Loving Feelings & Connection

couple cooking

There are expected acts of kindness in all relationships and then there are random acts of kindness in your relationship. The latter is when you choose to do something that is kind or supportive or loving that is not expected or part of the agreement that you have with one another, whether it be a spoken agreement or one that is unspoken. Random Acts of Kindness in your relationship equals Love in Action.

When you actively do something that is kind or supportive or nurturing that is not expected in your relationship, you are creating exquisite connections with your loved one. How can you not feel connected and loved when your partner is going above and beyond what is expected.

Even though these acts of kindness should be done ideally to show our love to our loved one, it may help to know there are big benefits for you also. Here are a few of them.

guy washing a car

  • People who partake in giving acts of kindness are happier. It feels good to do something kind for others. It is important to note that the Act of Kindness should be something you want to do, not feel you are being forced to do or hate to do. They should be genuine, authentic acts of kindness with nothing expected in return.
  • Research shows that folks who do Random Acts of Kindness  are less stressed and have stronger immune systems.
  • These acts improve your self-esteem, how you view your self.
  • And as to your relationship, it will create positive, loving feelings that will circulate throughout your relationship creating love and connection. 
  • You may find these “Random Acts of Kindness” are contagious. You too may have a “Random Act of Kindness” passed on to you, with you being the recipient. 

woman racking leaves

It is not always easy to send these “Random Acts of Kindness” out. We are busy, we are tired, we may feel we need a Random Act of Kindness to come our way. And there are times when it does not make sense to send these out. But when we can and it feels the right thing to do and we want to, it can create some very loving feelings. The love and connection and support it creates is the stuff a good relationship is build on.

For those of you who like concrete examples, here is one taken from my own personal life.  My husband went to bed early as he was exhausted from traveling and had to be up early the next day to do more traveling. As my morning did not need to start quite as early and I was feeling good due to a less intense day, I decided to put my husband’s green smoothie together for him as I knew it would be hard for him to do in the am having to leave early. Plus the truth is I am a bit of a night owl. So instead of indulging in some reading, I made my husband a smoothie to help him out with his early departure. Thus my Random Act of Kindness.

Here are a few potential ones to consider. But you will have your own unique ones that are a perfect fit for your loved one.

  • Take over a chore that is normally one assigned to your spouse or partner that you know is going to be very difficult for them to do.
  • Do a text letting them know you are thinking of them and that you love them.
  • Leave a surprise on the seat of their car to surprise them – it could be a gift or a snack or love note, etc.
  • Encourage your exhausted spouse to go to bed, even though you really want to talk with them.
  • Bring home flowers or something you know will be a happy surprise for your sweetie. 

I encourage you to try some Random Acts of Kindness out in your relationship. I think you will be glad you did. And if by chance you are the recipient of an Act of Random Kindness by your loved one, do reciprocate this act back to your dear loved one. And by all means tell them how you felt when this act of kindness of bestowed upon you. This will encourage you both to create a wonderful dance of random acts of kindness.