If dialogue does not happen in a spontaneous and instinctual way, the idea is to “formalize” it.
Don’t be scared!
This is a good thing:
You want to have a meeting with your partner.
You need to make an appointment with your partner (Yes! I’m serious! :-)).
Put 30 minutes aside and fix a time.
I know that this can sound artificial but it is not.
It is actually the most effective way to empower your relationship.
You give it direction and bring in a new quality.
Here is how to establish it:
If you feel that your relationship is in trouble, go to your partner and say something like:
“Look, something is not working between the two of us and I believe we should do something about it. We are growing apart and I don’t like that. Our relationship is worth fighting for and I want to reconnect with us. Let’s fix a time on Thursday to talk about it. 8pm?…”
Get your partner to agree! This is about your relationship’s survival.
On the appointed day, create a nice atmosphere.
If you both like it, open a bottle of red wine for instance or get some other drinks.
Make it cozy (not intimate :-)).
Turn off your cell phones, make sure you won’t be disturbed and sit down.
Give each other 30 minutes.
Whatever you reach after 30 min, drop it and let it go.
It is okay if you did not break through and found a final answer to your challenge.
Simply drop it after 30 min no matter what.
Following week, do it again.
Here is the kind of things you can say when you start:
“Look, over the last few months, I feel we have been really stressed up. There is more and more tension between us and I would like to do whatever it takes to bring back the complicity between us. Do you feel the same? What do you think we should do?”
As you can see, this is not an attack on your partner.
You talk about your relationship and finding strategies to solve a challenge you might face.
If you respond to tensions in such a way, you’ll give each other space to express feelings and concerns.
I know this looks formal but it is by far the best approach.
Believe me! This works!
All you have to do is get over the apparent formality of this approach and do it.
Go for it!
Design strategies together.
After 30 min, drop it and do it again the following week.
Make it a weekly habit and a priority until you find answers.
If after a couple of times, you feel stacked, ask for help from a coach or a relationship therapist.
They’ll help you set it up and give you communication tips and extra strategies.
It can easily take a month to establish a forum space for your relationship and 3 months to feel like you truly own this new “communication tool”.
Why only talk for 30 minutes?
Because after 30 minutes the intensity and positive energy drops.
Finish on a high note when you still have lots of extra energy.
Don’t stretch it.
Write them down.
Take notes for the coming week and next meeting.
It takes time and dedication to establish new relationship skills.
Your couple is worth it!
To your couple!