LOVE IS A CHOICE
As human beings we connect emotionally - through a felt sense of feeling seen, heard, valued and cherished. Physical connection is not enough. Without a strong emotional connection, intimate relationships do not even begin. If emotional connection dwindles, it negatively impacts the core of relationship, leading to significant distress and break-ups.
RELATIONSHIP AS SECURE BASE
VISUALIZE LOVING CONNECTION
"LOVE IS A VERB. LET US NOT LOVE WITH WORDS OR TONGUE BUT WITH ACTIONS AND IN TRUTH."
1 John 3:18
You may not recall, or know, what it feels like to be in a secure, respectful, trusting relationship. Heartbreak, divorce, and painful disappointments can muck-up our perceptions of intimacy and love.
Thus, it is imperative to practice visualizing your current/future relationship as a secure home base. Using visualization techniques and guided meditations provide tactile ways to make this happen.
"REALIZE THAT LOVE IS NOTHING WITHOUT ACTION. TRUST IS NOTHING WITHOUT PROOF. REGRET IS NOTHING WITHOUT CHANGE."
USE ONE NIGHTLY AT BEDTIME FOR 30 DAYS
"Women will rebuff advances or expressions of affection when under stress. the stress hormone cortisol blocks oxytocin's action in the female brain, abruptly shutting off a woman's desire for sex and physical touch.
REALIZE YOUR NEEDS
FOR SINGLES AND COUPLES
Studies show a major characteristic of secure attachers is they seek support by communicating their needs and wants. It is essential for you to, first, realize your own needs and wants, and then, communicate them.
By asking for what you need and want, you give your loved-ones the opportunity to love you. No one can read your mind. We need both Instrumental Support (help and problem-solving) and Emotional Support (comfort, respect, appreciation, curiosity and care).
Love is a verb. It is action-oriented. The Five Love Languages give us ways to love. Love is something we can see (acts of service), feel (physical touch), hear (words of affirmation), receive (gifts), and experience (quality time).
"LOVE IS NOT WORDS, IT'S ACTIONS. LOVE ISN'T FEELINGS, IT'S A DECISION"
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
Brene Brown, PhD
COMMUNICATE YOUR NEEDS
THE NEED FOR EMOTIONAL HEALTH SKILLS
1VULNERABILITY WITH BOUNDARIES
Once you understand secure attachment, it is time to cultivate this in relationships. If you are single, begin practicing your communication and Balanced Boundaries skills with trusted family, friends, and potential partners. If you are in relationship, begin taking small steps to communicate your needs, wants, limits and desires with vulnerability and authenticity. Learning and practicing Balanced Boundaries skills is essential.
2KNOW YOUR FEELINGS AND NEEDS
It is our #1 job to know what we feel and need - then communicate from this place. "I feel pressured and overwhelmed right now so I need to take a nap." Notice we are not expecting anyone else to validate our feeling, nor expecting others to tell us what we need. If we need help understanding what we need it is our job to ask for help and support to navigate complex issues, like health concerns and career, for viable solutions.
3USE "I" STATEMENTS
“I” statements are clear, direct and genuine. Using "I" statements and eye contact to communicate your needs, wants and genuine feelings allows for heartfelt connection and trust. Our feelings are to be honored and shared with those deemed trustworthy.
Sharing our genuine feelings and needs can feel vulnerable and risky because it is. In that moment, we are entrusting someone to be caring and careful about the most raw, fragile aspects of our human experience. There is nothing 'perfect' about our real emotions and feelings.
"Close connections with others start with feeling connected to ourselves. A downward spiral of negative emotions in an interaction can be replaced by an upward spiral when self-compassion is brought into play."
Kristen Neff, PhD
3EMOTIONAL HEALTH SKILLS
If your partner doesn't have Emotional Health Skills they may not have the capacity connect with you emotionally without getting triggered into reactivity. However, these skills can be learned (except in rare cases, such as malignant narcissistic disorders).
4CONFLICT RESOLUTION & TIME AND PLACE
Mature, authentic communication requires awareness and presence. Thus, choosing a comfortable time and place is necessary for complex needs and conflict resolution.
what is vulnerability?
Be careful who you trust with your vulnerability, it's valuable and fragile.
Choose wisely, give the gift of trust first, then open your doors of vulnerability with boundaries.
"Here I am – my frayed edges, my secrets, my dreams, me needs and wants, my fears, my affection."
In return, it invites, "I see you. I cherish you. It’s okay, you’re safe here with me."
It builds trust, closeness and a sense of belonging – all essential ingredients for real connection.
Relationships won’t thrive without it.
Vulnerability is the driving force of connection. It’s brave. It’s tender. It’s impossible to connect without it.
FOR TRUST AND ATTRACTION
Connection involves closeness and space. Like breathing, there's an inhale and exhale. Intimacy and attraction build when we allow for separateness and togetherness, security and surprise.
Not enough space and we can feel engulfed. Too much space and we can feel abandoned. There's a balance. It's up to you and your partner to understand your closeness needs, and then communicate them effectively.
Learn skills to connect with curiosity and compassion, courage and vulnerability to create opportunity for deep connection, trust and wholehearted relationship.