It’s never too late to have a close relationship with someone you love. If you had a connection before, you can have it again. If you need a model for building a good relationship, consider what the word “attachment” spells out:
A: Attachment is about creating a bond with those you love. It requires that you accept life’s imperfections and get okay with things being “good enough.” When you have a good attachment with the ones you love almost any obstacle can be overcome.
T: Touch is a very important part of being attached. If you’re not getting enough, talk with your mate about it. Physical connection is a necessary part of creating a healthy attachment. If you don’t want or need to be touched, that’s okay, but if your partner isn’t on the same page, it will chip away at your foundation.
T: Thoughtfulness means that, even in times of strife, you somehow always manage to consider your partner first. You need to want your partner to be happy, and thinking about him or her should make you happy.
A: Affirming verbally how you feel is very important for many people. To never hear “I love you” from your mate can leave you feeling as though you are not truly wanted. Many men and women need to hear they are valued. This is a case where actions do not speak louder than words.
C: Connecting with your partner by looking into his or her eyes, holding hands, and just saying “thank you for being in my life” or holding each other tightly for several minutes are both powerful tools. Give them a shot.
H: Hoping for a better tomorrow is critical for relationships that are in healing mode. If you both honestly commit to working on your relationship together, you will have the best chance of getting through a rough patch.
M: Memories of happier times will help you find the strength you need to get things back on track if you have lost your feelings of attachment. Knowing that you were once in love can give you the motivation you need to find it again.
E: Emotional availability and support are the cornerstones of a loving intimate relationship. Your partner needs to know that you’re going to be there for him or her.
N: Needing another person is not a sign of weakness. Yes, people can be too needy, and insecure behavior can make it difficult for a couple to bond appropriately. But everyone needs to feel valued and that his or her feelings won’t be dismissed.
T: Trusting that you are loved is essential. If you have any doubts, it’s best to sit down and talk about them. Communicating, verbally and nonverbally, is the best tool for creating what you want.
After a little time, what you may find is that your partner isn’t perfect and neither are you. Of course, that means that your relationship isn’t perfect either. It is, however, good enough.
Ron Huxley’s Additions: As a family therapist, parenting educator and parents, I welcome any movements toward building strong families. It is what the Parenting Toolbox web site has always been about. These 10 tools give some great advice on how to establish the building blocks of relationships. It is actually based on some serious science but that isn’t important here. Practice these parenting tools today.