Fostering Closeness and Connection
Operating from assumptions and expectations tends to create a false sense of security and ease in the relationship, but relying on “you should know me by now” drains the heart and juice out of a relationship. How many times has it been said “We use to be in love but fell out of love”?
We can get so lost in expectations and the unspoken do's and don'ts of a relationship, that it is easy to forget to stop and ask ourselves “what is my heart's desire” in a given moment, and then ask for an action step that would fulfill that desire. How we fulfill our desires and needs, primarily stems from what we observed and learned from our parents who often operated out of assumptions and expectations. We may be unaware that asking for what we want, to meet specific needs that can enrich our lives is not only possible, but vital, for the growth of the relationship.
Keeping the love alive or rekindling the aliveness that was once there demands we get out of our comfort zone and be vulnerable.
How do we do this? By asking for what we want without expectation.
Sounds easy enough, but in truth it is one of the hardest if not the hardest action steps one can take in relationship. Asking for something that would meet our need for affection, recognition, empathy, celebration, attention, to be heard, etc. with the risk of our partner saying no, is very vulnerable and courageous.
Asking for a kiss, a hug, quality time together or alone time apart, words of encouragement, or something even as mundane as asking for the garbage to be taken out, or “I just want to relax, would you please do the dishes?” are examples of requests. When these request are made without demand or expectation we are in the act of a life-affirming and enriching moment for the individual as well as the relationship.