Based on brain chemistry, and what we understand from functional MRIs...
--Did you know that for women connecting means that she needs to feel heard, appreciated, and safe?
--Did you know that for men connecting means that he feels like he is the provider and protector?
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If you can figure out how your partner feels connected, then it will help you to stay intimate. When I talk about connection, I am refering to that feeling of being loved.
For women it is hearing and knowing the little things you do are being noticed and appreciated, that your life and relationship matter to your partner, that someone cares what you do, that your purpose in life is validated...
For men it is hearing and knowing from your loved one that their job (even with long hours) is what makes you feel safe and secure, that you appreciate the fact that he can lift heavier things, do chores, errands that make your life easier, that you enjoy being taken care of and looked out for...
Sometimes both men and women freak out when they feel their partner pulling away from them. Often we think the solution is to talk it out. First we gossip to our friends and family about what annoys us about our partner. Heck, we may even drag our partner to a counselor, therapist, trusted friend, clergy. We attempt to diagnose a problem.
Is there really a problem?
Could all that is missing be that connection element in the relationship? Saying "I love you," does not cut it.
Could it be as simple as making a woman feel like she is heard, appreciated and safe?
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Could it be as simple as making a man feel like he is a provider and protector?
Yup! Our brains are wired to be this way--and even if we find ourselves in non-traditional roles, say the woman is the main breadwinner, and the man is a stay-at-home dad or is currently unemployed....think creatively how to make the other person feel what they need to feel connected in the relationship.