Sometimes we think there are only one or two ways to meet a need. In reality, there are countless ways (reminder from my therapist : journaling is always a good idea)! Try taking a break and writing down different ways to reach a desired outcome. For example, if we want more time with our partner (because perhaps our love language is quality time) we might :
- ask for and schedule a time to talk about wanting to make more time for connection
- plan a date
- make a request for carved out time each day to connect
- take a vacation
- talk on the phone
- book a day spa
- go for nightly walks together
Get the idea? Once we know our need (connection) and possible strategies, we can more effectively communicate and connect. It is easy to complain or make comments such as, “Everyone else is more important than me,” or “You never make time for me.” Instead, we can say something like,
We are so busy! I so appreciate how hard you work. I feel disappointed when we don’t have 1:1 time during the week because of work and the kids. Connection between us is really important to me. Are you able to (insert request) so that we can get that quality time in that I’m craving? I miss you, us.
When we get stuck in how to meet a need, especially if we only focus on limited viewpoints, we might miss out on opportunities for connection. It can really help us to stay open-minded and hearted by making and taking time to sketch out strategies. Further communicating our feelings and needs in a different way can really help with others truly hearing us.