“I love you.” What could be better than that? Saying a heartfelt “I love you,” to your intimate partner can bring you both closer and evoke feelings such as warmth and compassion. However, many people say those three words, and many relationships are still in a heap of trouble. I have three words for you that if practiced regularly and genuinely will truly transform your relationship and may just be the most direct route to a loving relationship.
Communication is about expressing and listening. In my 30 plus years of working with couples, I am clear that the more “connected” partners feel with each other, the more satisfying is their relationship. Creating interpersonal depth comes from “resonance.” Resonance is what happens when each partner feels “gotten” by the other. Reflective listening and mirroring is key. Repeating words back, paraphrasing and good eye contact are powerful ways to let the expressive person know that you are with that person’s experience and are resonating with him or her. And this is where those other “three words” come in.
“Tell me more.” Once you have reflected back in some way what your partner just said (example- so what you are saying is that you are angry at me for forgetting what you said), it is time to let the other person know you are still interested. In fact, you invite your partner to go even deeper and to be even more open and vulnerable. A heartfelt and genuine “tell me more’” leads to the expressive partner to feel very significant to you. Your partner is more willing even at an unconscious level to expose more. The more your partner feels safe to reveal, the more he or she will trust you. The more there is trust and acceptance, the more connected you both will be. This all leads to more joy and feelings of love.
Many partners deal with emotional conversations as something they have to endure and try to get over it too quickly. This does not create the kind of alive, passionate and open relationship that most people crave. Sticking with the conversation a little longer and asking your partner to reveal more about whatever he or she is experiencing is very, very positively powerful. Do you have any reactions or comments about this blog? Tell me more!