In your opinion, what are the biggest annoyances or triggers in your intimate relationship?
What's something that your partner does that ALWAYS frustrates you, no questions asked?
And as you ponder this question, here's what the science of love teaches us (which you already intuitively know):
Relationships are a constant 'dance', an ever-changing flux that we have to navigate.
The ENERGY of our relationships naturally cycles through periods of connection and disconnection; harmony and disharmony.
Attachment research unequivocally demonstrates that as humans, our primary survival need is for genuine connection that provides us with safety, security, understanding, and a sense of belonging.
When we reach out to bond and feel that our efforts are being declined, ignored, or misunderstood, this usually leads us to feel panicked, frustrated, confused, and in pain.
Once feelings of hurt, anger, or fear are activated we have two options:
We can fight/protest, angrily demand attention, flee, or shut-down in an effort to shield our hearts.
Unfortunately, these reactions often take us further away from the safety and connection we yearn for.
We can take a moment to honor our feelings, own our part in the dance, and risk being the one to initiate repair.
This is the exact 'dance' I mentioned above!
It's likely that many of the triggers and annoyances you identify with follow this overarching path.
So, how do we effectively explore and experience the life-affirming potential of relationships without getting overwhelmed, burnt out, or pressured to flee?
We learn to apply our awareness and pivot in KEY micro-moments, rather than defaulting to defensive patterns that no longer serve us.
We learn to stay with ourselves and turn back towards our partner so we can finally nurture deep and satisfying connection.
Unfortunately, communication strategies alone won't get us there - we need to dive deeper and focus on our unconscious, our inner child and our nervous systems to make true transformative change.