If conversation with your partner has gone quiet, do these four things.
We’ve all been there in our relationships. The awkward quiet that replaces what once was exciting conversation.
You may have gotten to a point in your relationship where you’re coasting along; putting very little effort into your partner. You’re touching less. You’re saying fewer kind words to one another.
If you feel uncomfortable silence has taken over your relationship, take action. Here are are four things you can do to improve your situation and feel a lot better.
Check Your Story
How accurate is your version of the truth?
Examine the story you’re telling yourself about yourself, your partner, your relationship. Sometimes that story is just a rough draft and it needs to be checked out before determining if it’s accurate.
This isn’t to say that your feelings are wrong or misplaced. Rather, the backstory that repeats in your head could be wrong. Question the narrative and explore ALL the possibilities.
The truth always launches an interesting conversation.
When’s the last time someone walked up to you and said “I have to tell you the truth” and you DIDN’T perk up?
Be assertive. Tell your partner how you’ve been feeling. That’s sharing. That’s a conversation starter. And it’s honest. Don’t blame or project.
Here’s what not to say: “You seem off.” “I think you’re distant.” Instead, talk about how you’ve been feeling. “I feel lonely.” “I feel sad.” “I don’t feel close to you.” “I miss our connection.”
Rather than decide how your partner feels, just ask.
Your experience is your experience and your partner can’t argue with how you feel. When you project or assume, you run the risk of putting your partner on the defensive. So, don’t do that. Instead, ask them in a curious, nonjudgmental way “How are you feeling about us?”
Tend The Garden
Care for your relationship like it’s a living thing. Because it is a living thing.
Life requires a lot of us: work, kids, our own health, aging parents. Oftentimes when we get to a point in our committed relationships, we coast and think all is okay. But longterm committed relationships require nurture, just like a garden.
We nurture our relationship by spending quality time together, doing kind things for each other, engaging in physical touch, and offering words of affirmation. If you feel that things aren’t going well with your partner, perhaps the relationship is stuck in a “maintenance” phase. The two of you need to focus some energy on the relationship. Be the first to offer some love and nurture and re-prioritize your partner.
Uncomfortable silence can be the result of unshared feelings, unasked questions, unsaid words and untended gardens. Treating your relationship as the dynamic, living thing it is will cut through that silence and inject new life into your relationship.
If you’re having trouble initiating any of these four suggestions, I can help. Schedule a free phone consultation.