Want to book yourself in for our Relationship Emotional Security M.O.T?
Any advisories? A bit of work need doing? Or will you fly through?
It’s interesting, how lockdown’s affected unexpected areas of life – both for the better and for the worse.
There we were, playing a reasonable round of the game of life, and then BAMMMM we reached a boss level.
When everything around you changes – you turn to the people around you to help you feel safe.
People are working from home – who don’t normally.Spending more time in the house together without a break.Often with children 24/7 that would usually be at school.
Relationships are in the pressure cooker.No wonder it’s intense.
It’s even more important than ever that we feel rock solid in our relationships.It goes both ways (obviously),which means this is what we deserve from people,and this is what they deserve from us.
#1 TrustSounds like a no-brainer, but let’s dive in a bit.
Of course, having emotional or physical relationships that you don’t admit (or would deny) to your partneris the obvious one.
It’s easy to check that one; if they are saying, writing or doing something that you wouldn’t want you to know – that breaks trust.
Same applies to you. Smaller things like hiding purchases, pretending to like things you don’t (so they don’t think less of you)or even inventing things in past that never happened..it gets picked up on and erodes trust.
Even if no-one is ‘doing anything wrong’ per se, the other can feel as though their partner is looking over their shoulder for a better offer.
To stay the course you have to live authentically – and if one of you doesn’t like it, it’s time to address it.
#2 Share the Stage
One of you may be more or less extrovert than the other – but that doesn’t mean they always get the spotlight
You both have interests, expertise and gifts.
You both have a lifetime of experience on the planet.
Do you talk fondly about the other person?
Do you show them off?
Do people get a sense of you two as ‘a team’ on the same side?
Whether you’re there together or not.
You are a double act.
It’s important that the people in both of your lives know that so each of you feel secure.
Do you both get to do the things you love (or even explore new things to find out what that might be?)
Any kind of inequality is a breeding ground for insecurity, which is a relationship red flag.
#3 In sickness and in health.
One woman I know realised that the last straw for her was when she became ill.
Her husband didn’t deal well with it.
She felt as though she was inconveniencing him, he complained about her having to rest and stuck his head in the sand about the whole thing.
She realised that as they (with luck) would become old people together -and he was the last person she would ever want to push her wheelchair.
So how are you both when the other is ill?
Do you want to help?
Do you allow them time?
If we’re on the same team, we can only move as fast as the slowest member.
In a man (or woman) down situation -knowing the other person is the best or indeed only person you want to help you back up again – is a solid sign of emotional security in your relationship.
#4 Do you WANT each other?
OK I’ll tread lightly, here.
To feel emotionally secure in a relationship – it’s important that you both know why you’re there.
If it’s because you love each other’s company, have fun together, look forward to sharing experiences together- it sounds like a safe bet.
But if either one is there because:
- they are scared of being lonely
- they are financially ‘trapped’
or even to get out of a previous situation… Well, that’s a whole house of cards that could crumble in time.
Sometimes in a long-term relationship the initial ‘want’ can get eroded by life and turn into more of a ‘need’.
In that situation, it’s important to double down on the things you used to love together – and get the want back.
5# Is it fair?
A robust relationship relies on fairness. It doesn’t matter who earns more, who cooks, who takes the bins out. It doesn’t.
How you organise yourselves is entirely up to you – but it has to feel fair to both of you.
Is one of you ‘carrying’ the other.
Is someone taking the Micky?
Do you both feel entitled to do the things you enjoy, take time for yourselves?
It’s easy to get into an unfair groove.
It’s also easy to not realise how the other sees things.
A great conversation (in our series of great conversations to have!!) could begin with the question “do you think things are fair between us?”
#6 Is it intimate, Yes sex – obviously, but intimacy is much more than that.
- Do you send each other little messages when you’re not together?
- Do you sit together? Eat together?
- Do you cuddle?
- Hold hands?
- Share a knowing glance in company when someone else is being a tool?
- Run a bath for when the other’s had a long day?
- Tell each other you love them?
- Talk nonsense just to make each other laugh?
- Are you excited to share your news?
- Share ‘in-jokes’
- Do you laugh every day?
- Remember details about things each other likes?
Not those things in particular but whatever intimacy looks like to you two.
Physical closeness is important – but emotional intimacy is possibly even more important.
A relationship without emotional intimacy is a dangerous situation to find yourself in.
It can be lonely, exhausting, frustrating and sad.
You can feel as though you have lost your personality and forgotten about your hopes and dreams.
And one that is emotionally secure is liberating, fills you with confidence and the knowledge of someone having your back.
Each other’s wingman or woman travelling through life.A partner in crime (ideally not actual crime)
If there is an area you know might need attention, lots of it CAN be fixed, with kindness, effort and agreement.