Select Page

Most people know what it feels like in the beginning of a relationship when both of your brains are busy bringing you together, as in the “honeymoon phase.”  Romantic love produces high levels of dopamine, creating euphoric feelings and the resulting behaviors for each other.  You are at the beginning of building emotional safety , putting energy into prioritizing, listening and validating each other.  Your best face is forward in your kindness and attentiveness as you slowly build important trust between you.  You spend a lot of time thinking about each other, and you may feel the warm and fuzzies of a love buzz.

Much have been said about the fact that this phase typically fades. Couples are hopefully left with the aspects of each other that they fell in love with to flow with the ups and downs of life together.  It can be fairly seamless but often not.  If there was an over-focus on the high of early love and not enough insight into the realities of each other, including the less desirable parts, the transition may be a challenge.  As vulnerabilities or “warts” start to reveal themselves, how well do couples adapt?

Back to emotional safety.  With the glow of the “honeymoon” out of sight in the rearview mirror, they need to rely on other connection points.  Ideally, they really enjoy being with each other, have mutual trust and respect and shared relationship goals to positively move ahead.  If they have general good will and a collaborative spirit, they can avoid letting mistakes or life pitfalls cast doubt on their ability to rely on each other.

But what keeps intimate partnerships thriving for the long haul?  Communication, conflict resolution, crisis management ability, finances and views on parenting are some of the few keys but there is one aspect that can be missed.

The little moments are the often-overlooked glue of long-term relationships.

Life goes on.  Days become weeks, become months and then years.  Couples need to adapt to things happening internally and externally in their lives.  But the “little moments” of their ongoing interaction patterns are critical.  The list of these moments can be infinite as people feel loved in different ways but the important thing is that whatever it is for each person in the relationship, that the little moments happen and somewhat regularly.  Here are a few:

  • Flirtatious glance.
  • Stroke of the hair.
  • Ask about their day, with authenticity.
  • Spontaneous hug.
  • Text to check in during the work day.
  • Neck massage while watching tv.
  • Use of loving nicknames.
  • Bringing partner coffee.
  • Kiss or hug at transitions. (hello, goodbye, good morning, good night)
  • Playful tap on the rear in passing.

If you think back to the beginning of your relationship, many of the above or others may have been happening.  You both probably were very clear that you mattered to each other and felt loved.  It’s natural for some of the more intimate behaviors to drop off over time but all of it dropping off is a red flag.  And for some of you, none have every been there and you may be reflecting on the impact of that.

No matter what is going on in the relationship, the messaging to each other that they are loved and matter is a critical component.  Loving micro-behaviors are unique to each couple and are a thread keeping them connected over time.  Know that people have different levels of need for these so in some cases one may desperately need them to remain connected and for the other it may not be as organic (due likely to earlier experiences and attachment styles).  All of this can get quite complicated and unfortunately, breed resentment and disconnection if not addressed.

Uh oh.  The “glue” is lacking in my relationship.

A lack of out-of-bed intimacy can put the freeze on in-bed intimacy.  For the many who need general intimacy intact to feel well connected, the thought of sex with your partner at this point may literally feel viscerally negative.  The long-term consequences of not having that thread or glue intact can be eroding disconnection originally fueled by a slow burning sense of rejection.

One solution is to ask your partner for what you need.  Even if it’s not natural, they then have the opportunity to create new habits for the sake of your relationship.  Hopefully, they hear and respond to this.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of relationship laziness over a long period of time.

If one or both of you does some of these but the other hasn’t been great at responding positively, try to change this.  The risk is the one doing the behaviors will eventually stop, leaving the relationship even more vulnerable to disconnection, not having the glue it needs to stick together.

If the issue runs deeper as a result of resentment or other unresolved issues, creating an obstacle to the above-mentioned micro-behaviors, seek couples therapy to dig deeper to try to get back on track.

The little things legitimately matter.

The post The Often-Overlooked Glue of Long-Term Relationships first appeared on LoveAndLifeToolBox .

The authors at Intimate Tickles found this article to be quite interesting, and we though you might like it as well. This articles was originally posted at loveandlifetoolbox.com by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
Spread the love

Read This Awesome Article In It's Entirety At It's Original Location

Check Out These Related Posts

Goodbye 2020: Best of LoveAndLifeToolbox.com to Get You Through the Pandemic

Goodbye 2020: Best of LoveAndLifeToolbox.com to Get You Through the Pandemic

With the collective challenges of 2020, my annual “Best of Emotional and Relationship Health” featured post to ring in the New Year is a little different.  Typically I share my most popular content of the past year only but this time I have cast the net widely over...

read more
10 Signs You Don’t Fight Fair in Your Relationship

10 Signs You Don’t Fight Fair in Your Relationship

Conflict is a part of life and relationships.  Though having less conflict is a good thing, having no conflict ever is not a realistic goal. The question is whether you and your partner are behaving in ways that will encourage you to successfully navigate through to...

read more
Two Ways to Boost the Emotional Safety in Your Relationship

Two Ways to Boost the Emotional Safety in Your Relationship

Emotional safety is one of the most important elements of any happy and healthy relationship.  Yet there are so many ways it can be compromised.  Sometimes it happens inadvertently and other times it’s a more direct assault on the foundation of the relationship. When...

read more
The Most Important Aspect of Affair Recovery

The Most Important Aspect of Affair Recovery

The emotional backlash of an affair on the partner who was cheated on can be earth shattering.  Whether there was suspicion of this happening leading up to the discovery or not, it all leads to a spectrum of emotions including shock, anger, grief and loss.  It can...

read more
The Sex Is Off the Charts But How Do I Make Him Want Me More Than Just Sex?

The Sex Is Off the Charts But How Do I Make Him Want Me More Than Just Sex?

  Women have asked me how do I make him want me more.  This especially happens after they have sex with a man. The thing is, it’s not really what you do to make a man want you more, it’s more in what you don’t do.  Women that try to push the relationship to the next...

read more
Own Your Future!

We have been training representatives in the finance industry for 10 years.

We are expanding due to the greatly increased need for what we do. 

To be clear we are  independent contractors. This means we work on our own time. We are not looking for hourly employees, but people who are open to working for themselves - either part time, or advancing to full time.

Our main focus is helping families plan for the future like retiring sooner, getting out of debt, protecting their family via income protection, investments, and more.

We don’t require any financial degrees or experience although both are welcome. We offer PAID training and PAID licensing for the right person.

Looking for those with good people skills and a heart for helping others! Schedule extremely flexible. Everything can be done remotely.

Presentations/Interviews are conducted via Zoom (zoom.us), so computer and internet connection is required.

Must be 18+ years old, have a clean background, & be willing to get licensed with the state as well. Does this sound like something you would be open to hearing more about?