“It’s Love that makes the world go round.” -W.S. Gilbert
Love is grand! There is nothing mightier than the power of love, bonding two people in a way that enables them to be stronger, happier, and healthier together.
However, the glow of love can fade if you don’t stay vigilant in polishing it. Life gets in the way, work is hectic, money is tight, and there’s so much to worry about! Sometimes it’s easier to let things slide… just for a little while…while you focus on everything besides your relationship.
Don’t make this mistake!
Far too often, couples fall into the trap of ignoring the warning signs, and not shoring up the foundation of their partnership until it’s teetering on its last legs. If you let resentment and boredom creep in through the door, you’ll have a hard time banishing them completely.
Once your partner feels unappreciated or devalued, those feelings may linger, simmering just under the surface.
Tantra means “woven together”
The best way to prevent this tragedy from happening is to consciously and regularly reaffirm your emotional connection. If you can make each other feel cherished and desired and safe, nothing and no one will ever be able to compete with that.
In Sanskrit, the word tantra means “woven together”. I refer to the techniques below as “tantric” in this way. They will nurture and maintain the emotional bond between you and your partner, strengthening the fabric of love between you.
Tantric Practices to Deepen Your Emotional Bond
These exercises are designed to be done on a weekly basis. Designate a certain day of the week, if you’re able to. If your schedule is erratic, fit them in when you can, but do fit them in.
A half-hour carved out of your schedule will pay off exponentially in keeping your love strong, and your relationship emotionally satisfying!
Soul gazing is a powerful tool, reconnecting you and your lover through quiet, meditative eye contact. You need to make sure ahead of time you’ll have no distractions. Turn off your phones and shut out the world. Perhaps put on some soft music, if that’s something you and your partner can enjoy together.
I recommend this practice be done in the nude – although this is not about s*. Being skin to skin with one another helps us build trust (and also feels great!). If love-making is the natural outcome of your emotional intimacy – or of your warm, naked bodies pressed together — then, by all means, indulge!
However, be careful not to cloud this activity with s expectation by either party. This is about emotional connection, first and foremost.
Lie on the bed, or on the couch together, on your sides. Get comfy. Your faces should be close, maybe noses or foreheads touching.
Without speaking, gaze into your partner’s eyes. Look into their depths and see the beauty of their soul, see that wonderful person that you fell in love with. See how they look at you and feel the love they have for you in their hearts.
At the same time, try to communicate with your own eyes – let your partner see into your heart.
Think nothing but positive, loving thoughts. Focus on all the good that is in your relationship, think about how your partner makes your life complete! It’s important that both of you maintain positive energy. Shut all the negative out.
It’s OK to kiss a little bit to break the visual intensity. Just go with the flow. I recommend this exercise be silent for 6 – 8 minutes, after which time it’s nice to share some reaffirming statements.
Minimal is better; a soft “I love you”, or “Your skin feels so nice next to mine”.
After you feel your deep soul connection has been properly honored, you can snuggle in a more comfortable position. Just relax and appreciate the feeling of being in each other’s arms. Clear your minds.
My partner and I will often repeat the eye contact phase a few times in a half-hour session.
“How are you?” This question is very rarely answered with honesty, even with the one person we’ve let into the deepest chambers of our hearts.
One of the best things about being in a committed relationship is that you’ve become partners. Partners in life, with all its triumphs and heartaches. Someone to share the load, to help each other muddle through the world, and plan your strategies together.
A lot of times we don’t tell our partner about our mundane, everyday concerns…or worse, we tell them and don’t feel like they’re listening.
This technique will structure those conversations. If you designate this as a weekly activity, you’ll probably find your partner more receptive to listening. You might be surprised to find out what they’ve been struggling with, as well.
The exercise is a series of questions that you ask your partner. He or she is allotted a designated amount of time (we use three minutes) in which to answer, uninterrupted.
Make sure you really listen, and don’t question the validity of their concerns, or get into a debate. This is not about you; this is about your partner. It’s OK to offer an encouraging statement, but limit your responses, don’t steal the spotlight.
The purpose of this exercise is not about fixing anything for them. This is about learning what’s going on in each other’s heads and making each other feel valued. It’s a great feeling to know that someone really cares about the day-to-day struggles you (and we all) have.
How are you?
Although it’s tempting and easy to end all of our workdays with a routine of dinner and then TV, sometimes too much focus on the fictional characters on screen can make one partner feel invisible.
Sure, it’s great to watch Netflix together. Having a special at-home “date night” to watch a movie and snuggle on the couch can be an enjoyable romantic activity, but your relationship needs balance.
Your relationship needs focus and interaction beyond watching things happen to other people while you sit together.
What are you looking forward to this week?
What (if anything) are you dreading this week?
What is a good thing that happened recently, something that made you smile?
What (if anything) has made you feel bad, or sad this week?
Is there anything I can do? (to help, or be supportive)
When you’ve both finished, give each other a nice, long hug. It will help ease the feeling of vulnerability the disclosures may have brought to the surface. By embracing your partner afterward, you’re letting them know that you love and accept all of who they are, including their fears, insecurities, and struggles.
There are several alternatives that can break up the routine, and let you focus more on each other, at least once a week.
Slow dancing Not everyone likes to dance, but slow dancing can honestly be accomplished by just holding each other and swaying. No talent needed. Dress up a little bit (no sweats), put on some romantic music, and move some furniture out of the way. Light some candles. Pretend it’s your first date all over again and spend a lot of time looking into each other’s eyes.
Read aloud to each other If both of you enjoy reading, pick out a book and take turns reading it out loud. Sit close together and lose yourself in your partner’s voice. Close your eyes while you listen. If it’s a romantic book, envision yourself and your partner as the characters. It sounds silly, but it will make you see them in a new light when you open your eyes. After a bit, just chat together about what you liked, what imagery appealed to you, or how the two of you would have handled the same situation. The experience will give you more insight into each other’s thought processes, and help you feel closer to your lover.
Play an old-fashioned game (not a video game – you’re unplugged tonight) It can be cards (strip poker might be fun), or Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. Don’t be too competitive, this is about spending time together, not winning. Bend the rules a little, give each other some leeway. Try to make each other laugh. Flirt, flirt, flirt. If things get too competitive, it’s time to stop. My partner and I play Scrabble, by our own rules. We donate letters to each other and strive to make silly. Once no more words can be made, instead of counting the points of each one’s leftover tiles, we pool them together and try to add them to the board to come up with a weird sentence. (Yeah, we’re geeks)
In closing, I hope some of these techniques help strengthen the bond you have with your soulmate. Only the two of you will know what works best.
In the end, I sincerely hope your romance succeeds… because the world needs more love!