In partner relationships, the desire to be seen, heard and known is fundamental because if we are truly known by another there is a sense that they care for us. We think of healthy attraction beginning with the spark of erotic polarity, which is necessary but unless it includes caring intention from both partners, the sexual attraction will not be enough to hold the relationship together. Caring intent is essential for intimacy and having a healthy meaningful relationship that lasts. The absence of being cared about can lead to loneliness, loss of meaning, despair and depression, which is why it is vital to keep the caring connection alive.
“A Caring person is one Who has Appropriate Motivations to Care for Others and
Who Participates Adeptly in Effective Caring Practices”
~ Virginia Held
Caring is an Action
The kind of care you received when you were young will have an affect on the kind of care you expect to receive and the kind of care that you give. Living in a culture that upholds independence and self-sufficiency as a high standard has diminished the value of caring to the extent that many people have not learned how to care for others or even for their own deepest needs.
Knowing what actions and behaviors the person you care about needs in order to feel “cared for,” supported and protected is necessary in order to give healthy caring intent. This is often where misunderstandings, feelings of discontent and of not being loved occur in relationship. One person may truly care about another but have no clue how to show their partner that they care.
Effective Caring Practices
Commit to the Relationship
Trust is crucial for security and when both people commit to supporting each other through difficulties intimacy increases and the feeling of care results. Resolving and repairing issues requires skill. Commitment entails overcoming your habitual reactions that cause separation and learning the skills of coming back into harmony.
Connect with Your Partner and Give them Attention
Attention is shown through being present with your partner, focusing on their needs, putting your needs aside and truly listening to them.
Attention is shown through daily actions. Make appreciating your partner a priority.
- Be Present and consistent. Our bodies crave the feeling of a trustworthy and reliable partner.
- Connect with your partner every day. Ask about their day and take time for sharing. Be curious and interested in what interests them.
- When you are traveling or apart from one another Call, Text, and check in.
- Leave notes of endearment.
- Remember special occasions, dates and events. Notice what lights up your partner’s face and how they like to celebrate. Treat Special Days with extra special attention. Plan ahead.
- When your partner has a project or event that matters to them be supportive and show your appreciation for their passions. Make your partner your Priority and what matters to them matter to you. Be present and drop what you are doing.
Be Emotionally Engaged and Actively Listen
- Make sure your partner is your “Go To Person.” Create a sacred intimacy between the two of you that no one else shares. Keep confidences.
- Share your thoughts, ideas, and vulnerabilities. Open your heart.
- Have common interests and share in social engagements and activities. Do an activity your partner enjoys even if it is not high on your list.
- Be emotionally intelligent; know your feelings and be willing to share them.
- Regulate your emotions; do not suppress and do not project.
- Validate your partner’s feelings. Emotions are real; do not ignore, dismiss, or try to change your partner’s feelings. It is diminishing, hurtful and emotionally abusive. Instead, accept your partner’s feelings and do your best to understand.
- Actively listen. Be present and look at them. Attune yourself to the other person. Notice their body language and the sound of their voice. Paraphrase back to them what they said. Validate their feelings and words. Ask for clarity if you do not understand. Show that you are interested in what they are saying. Don’t numb out.
Do Acts of Kindness
“And in the End, the Love you Take is Equal to the Love you Make”
~ The Beatles