Your Response Matters: Bids For Connection Ep 41

Your Response Matters: Bids For Connection | Relationship Coach

Happy Tuesday, my friends, and welcome to part five of my follow-ups from episode 36, the Six-Second Kiss Paralysis. Over the past four weeks, I have been sharing some fundamental and fairly basic concepts about creating and re-creating that solid marital relationship we so badly longed for. I honestly believe that these six episodes are critical and fundamental in the process of closing the abyss that so many of us feel is between our partners and us and a marital relationship that feels like we once upon a time imagined it to be. Last week I talked about bids for connection. Briefly, I talked about starting the process of recognizing bids, either our own or our partner’s, and then paying attention to how we respond to them because how your response to bids for connection matters. How you respond will determine whether you are creating more connection or disconnection.

Today I want to help you understand the different ways we can respond to a bid for connection, what those different responses may look like and how each will give you different results in your intimate relationship. If you are here listening to AwakenYou in your marriage, then it tells me that you are searching for the courage and inspiration to show up differently in your marriage. This episode will bring awareness to how you have been receiving bids, the opportunity to re-evaluate that response given what you now know, and start filling in the space between where you are and where you want to be, which is on the other side of that chasm hand and hand with your partner.

Ways we can respond to our spouses bids for connection

Make sure that if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, Bids For Your Partner’s Attention, that you do so because it is the prequel to what we are talking about today. In that episode, I explain what bids for connection are and share some examples, and with those examples, you can look at ways you have been responding to your partner’s bids for connection:

  • Turning towards: we respond to their bid, put down what we are doing and turn towards them, we create connection.
  • Turning away: we ignore their bid by turning away or ignoring and continuing what we are doing, we create disconnection.
  • Turning against: responding to their bid with anger or aggression, basically attacking your partner, we create disconnection and break emotional connection

Throughout this episode, I will be using one specific type of bid for connection to keep things clean and followable. The bid for connection I’m going to use as an example will be in the evening, after work, when your spouse comes home from work, and you are in the kitchen making dinner. They come into the kitchen, put their stuff down on the counter, right where you were going to set the cutting board to prep the veggies, and then starts telling you a story about something that happened during his day. Using the three options about and knowing which one creates connection, what choice might you choose from these three options? Your choice is what will determine whether you are creating connection or disconnection, so let’s look at what these different responses might look like:

Turning towards

In this example, turning towards your partner would look like pausing what you are doing, even if that means taking the pan off the burner, turning to look at them, and listening.

Turning away

Turning away would have you continue doing what you are doing; you might be nodding your head and acknowledging with your body, but you are signaling that what you are doing is more important than connecting with them.

Turning against

Turning against would look like interrupting your spouse and making it clear that you don’t have time for them by telling them to leave you alone, or “can’t you see I’m a bit preoccupied right now?” or even turning it around to you by saying something like, “Don’t you remember that I had an important meeting today? You think your stuff is always more important than mine.”

Another example

Let’s try another example. This example you may not recognize as a bid for connection but remember, a bid is someone trying to get your attention for a positive connection. “I wish you would put your phone down during dinner.”

  • Turning towards: setting the phone down and saying “I’m sorry, it’s so easy to just pick it up, I want to work on putting it down when we spend time together. Thank you for helping me!”
  • Turning away: ignoring, finishing what you are looking at on your phone and keep eating.
  • Turning against: “You use the phone at dinner too, what’s the difference?”

I could go on and on sharing examples; how about one more? “Hey, did you see that house down the road where they replaced the siding? I don’t think it looks good.”

  • Turning towards: “I didn’t notice, which house are you referring too and why don’t you think it looks good?”
  • Turning away: look away and go do a task
  • Turning against: “Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something?”

Of course, with the creation of this episode, I have been hyper-aware of Jeff’s bids for connections as well as how I am responding, making sure that I turn towards, listen, and then deciding if it’s necessary to ask for a pause to finish up what I may be in the middle of. I ask myself what is more important, what I am doing or connecting with my husband, every time I decide connection.

Taking action

You know I am all about taking action. I love taking action around bids for connection because initially, it doesn’t require any vulnerability except for being aware of what is happening. Your first action step is to start paying attention to:

  • When your partner makes a bid for connection
  • When you are making a bid for connection (intentional or nonintentional)
  • How you are responding to their bids
  • How they are responding to your bids remembering you are only creating awareness, you are not using their responses now as a weapon which of course would create disconnection

As you create this awareness, start practicing turning towards your partner when you recognize a bid. In the beginning, this might look like turning away or against and then self-correcting by turning back towards them. Take time practicing for yourself and exploring when you want to turn away or against; take time to look at how that feels and then how it feels to turn towards.

As you know, for years, I complained about Jeff’s “inability to connect.” Of course, I didn’t know then that this was keeping me from a way that created the connection I so badly wanted, BUT if I had known the things I know now, I could have used other “non-conversational” ways to create connection. Through these different ways of creating connection that I have shared over the past five episodes, you can start building connection in ways that don’t look so traditional, like sitting down and having a discussion.

Lastly, I forgot to mention the six-second kiss and how it has you making a bid for connection. Now, if your partner is asking for a kiss, turning towards them and sharing a kiss will create that connection, and then you can decide where that goes from there. Turning aways has you ignoring their bid, turning your head or walking away, or diverting by starting a conversation. Turning against would have you telling them that you’re not interested in kissing them.

I’d love to hear what bold steps you are taking in your marriage to create connection and move towards the woman you want to be in your intimate relationship.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Bids For Your Partner’s Attention Ep 40

Bids For Your Partner's Attention | Relationship Coach

This week is week three of taking a look at some of the benefits of the six-second kiss. Now, before you freeze or flee, I want you to know that this discussion has all stemmed from a conversation about the six-second kiss paralysis because many of my clients experience freeze or flee when they think about implementing this action into their marriage. So, if you are joining for the first time today, I would love for you to go back a few episodes to catch yourself up. One of the benefits of implementing the six-second kiss is that it has you making a bid for your partner’s connection.

So, today we’re going to talk about what bids for connection are so that you understand the concept and how it can bring you closer to your partner, learn how to create them, and recognize when your partner is sending out a bid for connection to you. Once you understand what bids are, I will share some examples of ways you can deliberately make bids for connection and catch the bids your partner is throwing your way, maybe even without knowing that they are throwing you a bid.

What are bids for connection?

A bid for connection is an attempt by your partner to get your attention, input, or opinion on a decision they are contemplating, basically, any action intended to create some type of positive connection. Bids can be as simple as a wave or a smile or even an out-of-place statement like “look at that dog over there!” Sometimes a bid for connection may not seem so positive, like sarcasm or a punch in the shoulder and this could likely be when someone feels awkward with communication and connection, especially if it hasn’t been practiced, so it’s good to pay attention because what you might be seeing as negative could be your partner’s awkward way of reaching out and attempting to connect.

I think it could be comforting to know that many times we miss bids for connection from other people and that is why having the knowledge about this connection tool can help us get better at catching them. As you learn about this tool and practice, you may even want to share it with your partner so that they can understand what a bid for connection is and how to react to it. You can even start paying attention to bids other people may be aiming at you outside of your marriage, watch your children, your friends, and co-workers, as well as practice making bids of connection with these other relationships.

Next week I will share different ways we respond to bids which is going to be a great follow-up to this episode, but for this week, we will concentrate on the fact that when we make a bid, we are hoping for our partner to turn towards us. This is why it is important to not only throw bids out but to practice noticing them and responding in a way that will create connection instead of disconnection.

After you play around with throwing and catching bids from your partner it will be a fun conversation to share what you have discovered with your partner. You can share how you’ve been paying attention to when they are throwing out bids and that you’ve been practicing bidding for attention and what you have noticed. When you share make sure you are sharing from a place of learning and fun, no accusations about how they may not be catching your bids or even throwing many at you! Simply share what you’ve learned here, maybe suggest listening to the episode together, which is another bid, and deposit into your emotional bank account (cha-ching!), and start playing the bidding for connection game!

Types of bids for connection

There are so many ways to bid for your partner’s attention, it could even be a fun game to start a list of all the ways you want to make bids, and as we learn what they are we can get better at making them. A precaution I want to throw out there is that as start this bidding game we might see that our partner is turning away from us and rejecting our bids for connection, but also be conscious of how you may have been doing the same prior to acquiring knowledge about this new tool. I would highly recommend for the sake of the relationship, that you start this practice from ground zero and let go of what we didn’t know from our past. Let’s start with looking at some simple bids and then get into some that might be a bit more difficult to perceive:

  • Asking about our partner’s day and sharing about our day
  • Texting them during the day to say hi or ask a question, share a story you read
  • Acknowledging them when they come home
  • A six-second kiss as well as a simple kiss and hug, the touching of their shoulder, reaching for their hand
  • Talking about things that are disconcerning
  • Asking to play a board game, watch a movie, play cards, go for a walk
  • Inviting them to learn something with you, read a book, try a class
  • Sharing some of your bucket list items
  • Asking your partner to help you with something, maybe it’s a household task or helping someone else
  • Asking your partner how you look or if your outfit matches
  • Inviting them to come sit by you
  • Sitting down by them
  • Pulling out the chair next to you and inviting them to sit down by you

To start, I recommend that you begin to notice bids you are making and bids your partner might be making. With bids, you recognize your partner making, notice your habitual practice in response, and now practice accepting that bid and turning towards them. If you’re making dinner or in the middle of something and you notice them making a bid, pause, turn and look at them. As you get comfortable with deliberately making small, less vulnerable bids, pay attention to how your partner responds while being conscious about not using this new knowledge as a weapon to criticize your partner, just learn and be aware. Sharing this episode with them would be a bid and them agreeing to listen would have them accepting that bid and if they say no then share the Cliff Notes version or just keep practicing on your own and notice the change you see in them because as you become more receptive those good ole mirror neurons will start working and whammo, they are responding.

I’m going to be honest and share that one of the best side-effects of helping people create the relationship of their dreams is that I am constantly thinking and learning more about how great relationships happen which has me constantly taking intentional actions in my marriage. As you incorporate this practice of bidding for connection I’d love to hear what you think about it, how you are implementing it, and the different ways you are creating bids for connection in your marriage and if you want help learning how to turn your marriage around then I want to encourage you to join my one on one coaching program where we dig deep into your relationship with yourself so that you can create the intimate relationship that feels amazing.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Your Marriage’s Emotional Bank Account Ep 39

Your Marriage's Emotional Bank Account | Relationship Coach

Hello, hello everyone, and welcome to AwakenYou! Today I want to start with sharing how AwakenYou helps you in your marriage because many are confused about how focusing inward can get them from dissatisfied to satisfied in their marriage. If you’re like most of my clients and how I was, we are looking at our partners to change so we can finally have the relationship we want. Still, we hold ourselves in a strategically weak position until we look inside and find clarity around what we are REALLY dissatisfied with. We hold ourselves in a position where we don’t try anything new; we keep ourselves small, thinking everything is good just as it is, that we should be happy, or we keep ourselves angry and stressed about something that appears to be out of control and unsolvable. We are in the middle of a big tangled mess where we can’t see any other options except feeling awful. That is the short explanation, and the reason I went there is because we are starting the Marital Magic six-week course this week! This week is actually Warm-Up week, meaning we are getting to know each other, and we would love to have you join us; we officially start this coming Saturday. This course is designed to help you look at why you are dissatisfied and uninspired in your marriage and then help you courageously go after what you want. I hope you will join us! This week is a continuation of the benefits of the six-second kiss, which I shared in episode 35: Six-Second Kiss Paralysis focusing today on your marriage’s emotional bank account.

Today, I will talk about what an emotional bank account is and how deposits are not equal to withdrawals, similar to getting dinged for taking money out of your financial bank account. Then I’ll share examples of emotional withdrawals and deposits, including the six-second kiss.

Your marriage’s emotional bank account

Dr. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families defines an emotional bank account as one’s relationship with another – he says that “By proactively doing things that build trust in a relationship, one makes ‘deposits.’ Conversely, by reactively doing things that decrease trust, one makes ‘withdrawals.’ The current ‘balance’ of the emotional bank account will determine how well two people can communicate and problem-solve together.” Through Covey’s explanation, we can deduce that if we struggle to communicate with our spouse, we might want to question whether we need to make more deposits.

Deposits or acts of kindness, honesty, courtesy, integrity, and love strengthen our relationship, while acts of cruelty, disrespect, criticism, and betrayal are all withdrawals that weaken our relationship.

The weight of deposits versus withdrawals

Deposits are small, consistent positive interactions, while negative interactions are big withdrawals – like paying a ‘penalty’ when you make a withdrawal from your financial bank account. Too many negative interactions can quickly wipe out a positive emotional balance.

By the time most of my clients come to me, they have created a large deficit in their marital emotional bank account. Just like eliminating financial debt is through taking small steps daily, whether it be putting money away and avoiding spending, the same process is implemented with building up a positive balance in our emotional bank accounts. Learning how to make small daily deposits in our marital emotional accounts helps us “save up” for those inevitable negative interactions.

Then the better we get at the daily habit of turning towards our partner and making positive deposits, it permeates into helping us make deposits even DURING a conflict when we are pulling out of our investment. We become accustomed to making deposits, so when we start withdrawing, we can be more present by listening to them, seeing where they may be right, being able to understand where they are coming from, and being curious about what they have to say by encouraging them to tell you more.

Examples of negative interactions or withdrawals

  • Looking at your phone or turning away when your partner is speaking to you
  • Complaining or nagging
  • Talking negatively about your partner to others
  • Being sarcastic
  • Interrupting them when they are speaking
  • Critcizing their approach
  • Ignoring them
  • Diminishing their perspective
  • Not keeping promises
  • Avoiding physical closeness outside, and inside, of sex
  • Conditional love

Examples of positive interactions or deposits

  • Apologizing when you notice yourself doing any of the above
  • Listening to them when they talk, look in their eyes, notice them
  • Creating intentional time with them, reading, a walk, watching a show, cooking, a game
  • Welcome them when they come home
  • Be interested in their hobbies and their work
  • Find ways to laugh together
  • Take time to understand and know them (see Ep 37: Love Maps: Getting To Know Your Spouse)
  • Discover THEIR love language and take actions to speak it to them
  • Follow through on those things you promised
  • Get clear on your partner’s expectations, ask and come to a mutual agreement on how you might be able to fulfill those expectations
  • Loving without conditions
  • Physical closeness: cuddling, kissing for no particular reason, hugs and this is where the six-second kiss comes in!

When we’ve only been pulling from our emotional bank account, it’s important to recognize that big deposits may not be effective without the everyday small deposits. A long-needed vacation with your partner without implementing small daily deposits isn’t going to be sufficient to bring your account up to a healthy space, similar to paying off a big chunk of your financial debt without making changes in your daily savings and spending habits.

It’s important to start small, take action on things that make you feel just a bit vulnerable, and build up your courage bank. Every small courageous act of an emotional bank account deposit will help you feel more comfortable and confident with the actions you want to take. The more courageous and confident you get, the bigger your deposits get and the less you withdraw when conflict arises!

If you are interested in doing the work of wiping out your marital emotional debt and want help doing so, then an easy and fun way to start would be by joining my six-week Marital Magic course that starts this coming Saturday. Together let’s fall back in love with our spouses! We started this week with a bit of a warm-up and setting of intentions, but the real work starts this coming weekend and I would love to have you join this community of people who are excited to get re-inspired to create a marital relationship that they love being a part of!

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Self-Soothe To A Happier Marriage Ep 38

Self-Soothe To A Happier Marriage | Relationship Coach

Hey everyone, happy Tuesday, and welcome back to the podcast where we are exploring some of the benefits that I shared due to establishing a six-second kiss habit back two episodes ago, episode 35, Six-Second Kiss Paralysis. In that episode, we talked about how to go from being paralyzed when thinking about one six-second kiss, much less establishing it as a daily routine, to taking action on something you want to do in your marriage. Last week we talked about Love Maps: Getting To Know Spouse and what I think I forgot to mention in that episode is how the six-second kiss can build the knowing of your partner, so I’ll share that here and now. Think about it, when we share a six-second kiss, we have time to explore our kissing style, how we want to kiss, and different ways to kiss. While you are exploring what is happening for you, you can also tune into how your spouse kisses and responds to your kissing experimentation. It helps bring meaning and understanding to the action instead of the simple peck, which doesn’t give you time to be present. Once you get into the six-second kiss routine, you will find much more presence during even a simple one peck while appreciating the longer version. Now that I have that covered, let’s dig into the steps of how to self-soothe to a happier marriage.

Today, we will define self-soothing, why it is so important in your marriage but even more so, for yourself, and then I’m going to talk about ways to self-soothe and how the six-second kiss can be self-soothing.

What is self-soothing?

Self-soothing is a way to bring ourselves to feelings of betterment to move forward from any negativity or pain. It is a way to help you know that “everything is going to be ok.” It is learning how to regulate your emotions, which you can find more about in Episode 35, where I talk about Emotional Regulation In Your Marriage, and an exercise to distract or ground yourself when you feel negative emotions onboarding. I do want to pause here to talk about how self-soothing is often first recognizing where you are going emotionally and with that awareness being able to judge what actions you need to take that would best serve you. With practice, you will be able to tell whether the situation is “light” enough for you to stay in the circumstance and self-soothe or whether it might be quite possible that the circumstance is too “heavy” for you to self-soothe at the moment and throw up a time out signal.

Now that you know what self-soothing is notice how often you might soothe someone else; we do it with babies and children when we think they are afraid of something. I find myself doing it all of the time with Aurora, our new puppy; while I am trying to get her comfortable going on walks in the neighborhood, I’m constantly telling her, “everything is ok.”

As you begin to learn how to self-soothe, it may start with the awareness after the circumstance and process what happened so you can start doing things differently. As you practice, you will be able to see the circumstance on a scale of 1-10 in your ability to self-soothe at the moment, which will help you to understand when you need to create a boundary for yourself and bow out of what is happening so you can evaluate and take care of your mental health.

This self-soothing helps us regulate our emotions by bringing some relief, like stepping out of the fire and into a cool misty day, and when we’re able to do this, we can better assess what is going on for us. We can look at what was said, what we said, how they reacted, or how we reacted and have a clearer perspective of what is actually happening after we step away from an emotional battle.

How self-soothing builds a stronger marriage

In our marriages, there are so many things that could create tension for us; it could be our schedules packed with activities and commitments, a lack of connection and communication, it could be lack of passion and love, or even something as simple as a look or reaction that sets us off. Self-soothing helps us step out of being stuck in the middle of an emotional storm, pointing our fingers at our spouse, and showing up in a way that feels awful. Self-soothing helps us pause when we need to keep pushing our point, wanting our partner to step down and examine what is really going on for us. Self-soothing turns us inward to reflect on what we are making this circumstance while checking how we want to show up intentionally. In our marriages, self-examination and self-reflection seem difficult and painful because we think our partners should understand and show us love, and this, my friends, is the point. We have been relying on them to do this for us, leaving us powerless to create that feeling for ourselves, and a disconnected feeling in your marriage is the perfect conduit to turning inward and learning the process of showing up for ourselves through our own care and love and understanding of self.

Self-soothing helps us see how to make ourselves feel better whether we are in a frictional state with our partner in a face-to-face confrontation or when we are plain feeling down. This helps our marriage because we can process through our own pain and then come together with our partners to share. When we’ve processed through our pain ourselves, we don’t need our partners to fix us, make us feel better, or agree with us; we can be there to love them and, in turn, let them love us in their own way.

I love self-soothing because it helps bring us closer to our partner without actually opening ourselves up too much to someone else, which is important for most of my clients. In AwakenYou, we do so much work with our relationship with ourselves before we start taking too many actions with our partner because these self actions often feel so much safer than opening ourselves up to possible rejection. Even though we learn in the program that no one can reject you unless you are first rejecting yourself, it often takes time to resonate. That is why self-soothing is one of the more accessible ways to start rebuilding the marital foundation.

As in everything we do here in AwakenYou, learning how to calm your nervous system and working through the issue that is creating friction is a process of self-growth, and not every strategy will work in each situation. This is why I share so many tools, and as you use the tools, you get better at handling them and knowing which one might best work for each situation; this is what keeps you engaged, inspired, and connected in the relationship. Remember that avoiding a situation by pretending it didn’t happen or pushing it away is NOT self-soothing; it is a form of resistance that erases self-growth and moves the relationship backward.

Ways to self-soothe and how the six-second kiss can be self-soothing

  • When it comes to conflict it’s important to step back and get a different perspective. When you’re unable to regulate your emotions your best option in the heat of the moment is to have taken care of yourself beforehand by coming up with a signal to pause. It could be a time-out signal, a hands in the air, a phrase, maybe something funny to break the tension a bit, maybe have a conversation with your partner, not during a conflict, and come up with a joint signal together. Maybe even a six-second kiss! Then have a plan for both of you to take time to self-soothe and then you can together decide if and when you want to revisit what originally created the conflict.
  • When you are able to break away take time to first center yourself by focusing on your breath. Don’t know how to do that? Go to Insight timer and search “breath”. Then take time to process your emotions by listening to Episode 23: How To Process Emotions and then write about what is going on for you. When you write make sure you are focusing on yourself not on your partner.
  • Start creating a safe place in your mind, a place where you feel safe, calm and open-minded. It may be somewhere out in nature, a comfortable spot from sometime in your life or a made up location that you imagine to be safe. Envision yourself in this place and how you feel when you are there, what does the air smell like, what noises do you hear, what does it look like, how does the air feel on your skin. Think of these things to help you get out of your logical thinking mind and as thoughts seep through notice them and let them float on through.
  • Go for a walk or a run and use your senses. Tune into what you see, what you hear, your feet landing on the ground, your breath, the smells, the sun or rain on your face and let yourself soften. When you notice ruminating thoughts let them go and refocus on the beauty around you.
  • Place both hands on your heart to calm yourself and activate the feeling of self-love.
  • Journal, write it all out and then finish the statement: “I am…”
  • Listen to some calming music, again, Insight timer is a great resource.

The six-second kiss might not be something you implement in a time of conflict, but when you are implementing it into your daily routine, you establish new habits that help you feel good and bring you together with your spouse. It is you telling yourself that everything will be ok and that you can do things that scare you and that you have the power to bring the love you long for back into your marriage.

If you are interested in doing the work of re-building your marital relationship, then I want to encourage you to join my six-week marital magic course that is starting November 13th, through this Friday, November 5th, the price is only $159, and it goes up to $999 at midnight. Go to my website to get details and get yourself registered. Join a small group of people who struggle with some of the same things you struggle within your marriage, find support and a whole lot of encouragement as I share steps to create the relationship that you love, and start believing that you have the power to turn around how you feel about your marriage.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Love Maps: Getting To Know Your Spouse Ep 37

Love Maps: Getting To Know Your Spouse | Relationship Coach

Welcome back and I am super excited about how last week’s episode, Six-Second Kiss Paralysis, has opened up a whole grouping of discussions around the process of rebuilding not only our marriage relationship but as always, our relationship with ourselves. Last week I mentioned twelve different ways the six-second kiss can help rebuild our marriages and create that connection we are craving so badly. In that list, I mentioned terms that might be unfamiliar, terms like love maps, self-soothing actions, emotional bank account, turning towards your partner, and bids for connection. Through different conversations I have had since last week’s episode release I have decided that digging into these topics will be useful for all of us as we do the work of believing that our relationship dream is possible and that we have the power to change its dynamic. Over the next several weeks I am going to take a closer look at each of these terms and I believe these episodes will help you build some relational resources that will help you get comfortable doing new things in your relationship and give you a new perspective around those things that you are already doing to strengthen your relationship but maybe not aware of. Today I am going to dig into what Dr. John Gottman calls Love Maps which is his term for getting to know your partner intimately, Love Maps are simply detailed knowledge of your partner’s inner self, I like to call these our partner’s storybook. As you get to know them you fill in the details of the pencil sketch of a map you started to create when you first met them, or possibly even before you officially met them.

If you think back to the beginning of your relationship there was a lot of “getting to know” each other, you were sharing time together and creating connection by being curious about the one that was attracting you and sharing information about yourself. It was fun learning new things about this person you were attracted to but over time we often let life consume our days and we forget to continue the learning process. Initially, getting to know each other is also pretty low-risk because we aren’t getting deep, we’re able to share in a way that doesn’t expose those things that we hide from and feel shame around, and then as we move through the relationship and commit our lives to each other, sweeping over those stories we hold close becomes easy.

When you start to discover that your relationship has gotten to a place that is different from what you expected and as you begin to see that you want something different in your relationship, it can feel so far from where you want to be that re-creating that intimacy can feel very challenging, almost insurmountable. It’s as though we are so far away from knowing our partners that we feel embarrassed when we realize how little we may really know about them, but if you can look at it like a fun new adventure then this getting to know each other can be fun, almost like starting over.

Today I’m going to talk about what love maps are, why we want to keep filling the details in on our maps and then I’m going to talk about how to pick this process back up from where you are now in your relationship. Keep listening because you may be surprised to hear how I suggest you start this knowing process.

What love maps are

The Gottman Institute created a theory called The Sound Relationship House, and Building Love Maps is the first floor, the foundation, of that sound relationship house. That first floor is all about how well you know your partner. Do you know their worries, their stresses, what makes them feel joy or what their dreams are, as well as knowing what city they were born in, what they thought of kindergarten, and who their favorite grandparent was? Many spouses tend to think this job is already done when they are years into the marriage but continuing to explore the soul with an interested person builds an emotional bond that many couples never experience – makes sense as to why affairs feel so rewarding. The concept of building love maps is that knowing little things about your partner and their life builds a strong foundation for your friendship and intimacy. It’s knowing each other’s world from their past to what is going on with them right now and what their dreams are for the future.

The research that Dr. Gottman discovered was that couples who were emotionally intelligent were intimately familiar with their partner and their world. This means that each partner had a beautifully detailed Love Map of themselves and their partner. These couples created plenty of space in their mind for their partner, instead of just a short, few page story of who their partner is, they had a richly detailed storybook with detailed photos and text. They remember major events from their partner’s past and they continue to edit the information as things change in their partner’s lives.

Why knowing our partners is so important

When we know more about our partner’s deep, innermost feelings it makes us love them more. This wisdom and knowledge helps us to better understand our partners when they face mountains in their lives or when together as a couple you face stressful circumstances. When we better understand our partners, and ourselves, it’s easier to navigate the difficult times and encourage each other through them, we have a better connection with them, we like them for who they are. When we don’t know our partners intimately it is much easier for us to lose our way when things change in our lives, when challenges occur creating more distance between us because we haven’t created that loving connection.

This knowing and willingness to continue to know is the glue that will keep the foundation of your relationship strong. Think about it, our lives change, and for sure, if you are doing the work of growing and changing and becoming more of your true self, if you are AwakeningYou, then it’s important to share your new discoveries with your partner. As you start shedding the habits of people-pleasing, avoiding, hiding you will evolve and be revealing your work to your partner which will help them do the same.

How to pick this process back up

One of the ways we do this is by going back to what we did in the beginning, we start to pick up the process of learning who they are which to some might seem odd because we think we should already know our partner but instead what we shared what felt comfortable to share, we didn’t share our inner selves. And actually, our partner has hopefully grown and changed quite a bit since the time we dropped the getting to know them routine so it’s sort of like starting over. The thought of starting over might sound exhausting but if it does, let me share this thought: it can also be exciting, sort of like reigniting that spark again!

Where I suggest you start in this process is starting with yourself, yes, start building your own storybook, your own love map, you start with knowing yourself more intimately. You can begin with an outline and the filling-in details. What was easy sailing in your life? When were you climbing mountains or crawling through arid deserts? Keep building it through the practice of journaling or with a professional, you don’t want your partner to be the one who is the answer to all of the things you’ve been concerned with or questioned in your life.

While you are writing your storybook you can share with your partner what you have been doing and what you are discovering and ask them some of the same questions you asked yourself letting them know that you want to get to know them better. They can be simple and fun questions like where they were born, what the first day of school was like for them, have them describe the first place they lived when they moved out of their parents house. Start a list, refer to it often and start filling in your love map right along with your partner’s love map. You can pull it out when you are on a car ride, on a hike, at dinner, or on a lazy night by the fire.

I know some of you might be thinking that your partner will never participate in such an activity, it’s ok, I understand. There are ways for you to ask these questions without them sounding like a quiz or a card game AND, what does it matter how they react? You want to get to know them, share that with them, and then share your response to the question to get the conversation started. The more you share about yourself, the more both of you will know about you and eventually, your partner will open up to the game, trust me, take your time, be consistent and you will bear fruit.

If you are interested in doing the work of re-building your marital relationship then I want to encourage you to come join my six-week marital magic course that is starting November 13th, through this Friday the price is only $59 and it goes up $100 at midnight. Go to my website to get details and get yourself registered. Join a small group of people who struggle with some of the same things you struggle within your marriage, find support and a whole lot of encouragement as I share steps to create the relationship that you love and start believing that you have the power to turn around how you feel about your marriage.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Six-Second Kiss Paralysis Ep 36

Six-Second Kiss Paralysis | Relationship Coach

Welcome to another week on the podcast, it is a beautiful week here in the upper midwest, fall and its beautiful earthy tones are on point. This week’s episode is one I have been pondering to myself because I was a bit uncomfortable with how to present what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it so what I decided was to just do it and see what comes out. If you are here it is most likely because you are struggling with how you are feeling in and about your marital relationship, you are wanting more than what you have and are unsure about how to go about the undoing of where you’re at.

First I want to say, welcome. Second, I want to share that all things are on the table for discussion here because if we don’t talk about what we are struggling with it is going to be quite difficult to come up with solutions because all we’re doing is burying it. Avoiding. Hoping something different will happen to make this discomfort go away. Something different for sure can happen, but only if you make that something different happen. You want something different, so you have to go after it.

With that said, this week I am going to talk about the six-second kiss that you may have heard about as an action to help create a more loving, connected dynamic in your marriage, then I’ll talk about feeling stuck with this suggestion and the steps to being able to implement the six-second kiss in your marriage.

Let’s dig into what I’m calling the six-second kiss paralysis.

What is the six-second kiss?

I don’t think I have to go into what the six-second kiss is except that it is something many relationship experts suggest a couple implement to help create an intimate connection. Dr. John Gottman from the Gottman Institute discovered that kissing can improve the health of a relationship and I don’t think any of us would disagree with that discovery.

Here are some things a six-second kiss can do:

  • It can build a ritual of connection.
  • It can create physical touch.
  • It can be a bid for connection.
  • If your partner has initiated, then it’s turning towards your partner.
  • It boosts fondness and admiration.
  • It builds appreciation between you.
  • It can increase your love maps of your partner’s kissing style.
  • It adds to your emotional bank account.
  • It can boost your positives for the 5:1 ratio.
  • It can lead to sex.
  • It can be self-soothing.
  • It can reduce cortisol (the “stress” hormone) and boost oxytocin (the “love” hormone).

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what the meaning is of “bids for connection” or “love maps” or “emotional bank account” or “5:1 ratio” because over the next several weeks I will take each one of these a bit deeper so you can start exploring them while building connection in your relationship.

Six-second kiss paralysis

Six-second kiss paralysis is being stuck in a place of inaction around something you’d love to implement but the implementation seems so disconnected from where you are in your relationship.

You’re here because you want to create a different dynamic in your marital relationship and because you care, because you are tired of what you have been creating, you have probably heard how magical the six-second kiss can be to bringing you and your partner to a new level of closeness. Here’s the problem though, you are so far away from a six-second kiss that you are frozen into non-action. You might be thinking something along the lines of “I would love to have a six-second kiss but we barely have a daily peck and hugs? Hugs are few and far between if not non-existent.” or maybe it’s this, “A six-second kiss? Yeah, sure, he should be giving me that but he ain’t and until he does, you’re crazy if you think I’m going to give in to that!” or maybe this, “He doesn’t seem one bit attracted to me. I’m afraid of the reaction I’ll get if I try to give him the big hug I dream of giving much less a six-second kiss.”

Ok, friends, I get it, trust me, I get it better than you might think. I myself felt shame around what I thought should be simple to implement if I was in a loving relationship, but after analyzing my shame and discomfort I decided to expose myself. I decided to open up to the love I wanted and embrace myself for the love I wanted to create in my marriage knowing full well that I had no control over how my husband would react to my invitation.

While I had heard over and over the magic of the six-second kiss, it felt so uncomfortable because what did it mean? I myself was working on making sure I was showing up authentically and not as my old people-pleasing self. I wanted to do what I wanted to do for myself first and I wanted to be unattached to my interpretation of his reaction. This took time for me, I had work to do on myself and my reasons for my actions and how I wanted to feel if my actions weren’t received the way I thought they should be received, a way that would make me feel loved. I had to get to the place where I would be able to feel love because of my actions, not because of how Jeff showed up.

How to remedy the six-second paralysis

The first thing you have to do is start unraveling what is going on inside of you. It’s the process of looking at how you have gotten to where you are at now in your intimate relationship and why. How are you feeling about where you are at and what is the thought process getting you there? Looking at how you are showing up in your relationship, especially when we get to the place where we see that we’re not particularly happy with how we are showing up, and seeing what result these actions are getting us, instead of turning outward and blaming them for how we are feeling. As we do this unraveling we start to see how we are the creator of how we feel in our relationship and we start to let go of the death grip we have on our partner. We start to let go of the blame and resentment while learning how to show up for ourselves.

The second thing to do is to decide what change you feel only a little vulnerable making, maybe 10% more uncomfortable than what that big step of the six-second kiss would mean for you. I’ve talked about this before but let me say it again, in our relationships we often get stuck at a place of comfort, where each person in the relationship isn’t exposing themselves to anything vulnerable. When we get to this place our desire for each other fades and in order to bring some flame back into the relationship one of the two has to open up a bit in vulnerability. Because you are the one seeking information about how to create a relationship you love, you are the one who gets to do the leading in the vulnerability. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you step out boldly in vulnerability, like maybe 90%, you are most likely going to get an unexpected reaction, a reaction that might push the relationship further away rather than bring it together.

How this opening up begins is by looking at your current routine and asking for something more, from a place of love, desire, not blame. Maybe it would be in the morning when you and your partner say goodbye for the day and maybe give each other a peck. A deliberate step of courage would be to tell your partner you would love a longer hug, maybe a six-second hug. It might feel awkward, pay attention to what comes up for you during that hug, what happens in your body and then write about it. Once you’ve implemeted this baby step of vulnerability, keep doing it until it becomes comfortable for you to ask for a little bit more. After some time with the six-second hug maybe you squeeze him a bit harder and thank him for his time. The next day maybe you ask for a three-second kiss along with the six-second hug and so on.

As you do the work of opening up to a better understanding of yourself and why you are doing the things that you might not want to do in your relationship you begin to have a clearer sight of the things you want. As you do this work and start visualizing that which you want, you start to own it for yourself and begin to create it.

The six-second kiss was something I was originally afraid of, I was afraid of possible rejection until I realized that when I open up to the love I want no one can reject me, they can only reject themselves and the love I choose to pour all over them.

If you are in a place where you want to start implementing new ways of being in your marital relationship then I want to encourage you to come to check out AwakenYou, it is my one-on-one coaching program where I give you the courage and permission to achieve what it is you want in your marital relationship, starting with you. Come join me!

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.