As the New Year begins, we think about resolutions. Though couples may have resolved to have a better relationship, resolve their differences, have less conflict, it occurred to us that we don’t really “resolve” issues in relationships.
“Resolving” connotes the process of solving a problem or difficulty, finding an answer, making a decision, bringing a disagreement to an end. Though we certainly do solve problems, make decisions and conclude conflicts with our partners, we never fully finish. Most couples have chronic issues that they continue to dialogue about during the lifetime of their marriages. Actually, our relationships are in a continual process of “evolution,” growing healthier and stronger or becoming weaker and more fragile. As 2011 gets off to a start we want to share our thoughts with you about “Relationship Evolution.”
“Relationship Evolution” is the never-ending, continual process of consciously creating the head, heart, hormone connection through the ongoing actions and words exchanged between two people.
Consciously creating your relationship is at the heart of evolution; a strong partnership doesn’t just happen by chance. The individual decisions you make every day – the way you act towards and speak to your partner, how you treat your partner, whether you appreciate and show gratitude towards your partner, will drive the evolution of your connection in one direction or the other.
The 3 H’s – “Head, Heart and Hormones” – is a concept we developed to describe the delicate balance of communication, emotional and sexual connection in a relationship. When head, heart and hormones are aligned and working in sync a relationship will have the greatest chance to evolve into an extraordinary partnership.
Head – Communication is the most important skill in our relationships and is the one that is most complex. Your cognitive thought process is the filter that allows you to determine what information you will share with your partner and how you will express it. When emotions are high and your logical thinking and reasoning are nowhere to be found, you may say and do things that hurt or you may shut down. Learning to become a better listener and speaker is vital to maintaining the head connection.
Heart – How often have you heard people say, “Just speak from your heart”? Great advice if you are talking to your therapist. In your relationship, it’s not quite that simple. Strong emotions are complicated and multifaceted, so when difficulties arise your emotions may experience a roller coaster of anger, sadness, fear, hurt and love all in a matter of minutes. It is important to acknowledge all of these feelings – to yourself.
But when it comes to communicating with your partner, speaking just from the heart can damage a relationship. Filtering your strong emotions through your head is a much more productive way of sharing your feelings and will allow your partner to receive them in a clear and empathic way. Striving to face, embrace and express feelings in a productive way is extremely important to creating a loving heart connection.
Hormones – When hormones are a source of contention or non-existent, and sex is not integrated into the head-heart connection, the love relationship evolves into “best friends,” a great head-heart connection but no passion, or “business partners,” a smooth running of the household but no emotional and sexual connection.
How will your relationship evolve this year? Are you ready to consciously co-create a relationship with a deep and authentic connection? Talk with your partner about head, heart and hormones in your partnership. Are they in sync? In which areas do you need to work? Start your relationship evolution today and you will be on the path to extraordinary.
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