Give Your Partner the Gift of Your Full Presence

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You know the feeling: you’re with someone and feel so connected, such a sense of togetherness, that the outside world seems to melt away. It could be in conversation, the feeling of being very heard. It could be just being together, feeling seen. Or it could be during those intimate physical moments, feeling the gift of full attention to each other’s bodies.

There’s an unmistakable feeling of knowing someone is fully present with you and the experience you are sharing. It’s one of the best gifts we can give each other. And being present is key to having fulfilling, healthy relationships. Being present means being WITH your partner, the conversation, paying attention, and prioritizing what’s going on over other distractions.

So how can you give this gift of being present and make your partner feel connected, seen and heard? There are a few obvious tips, but these small things are easy to overlook or forget if you’re not paying attention.

Make eye contact
Eye contact is an essential part of being present and connecting. When you’re present with your partner, there should be nothing else you need to be doing besides witnessing them and your connection in that moment. When he or she is speaking, try your best to maintain eye contact. Even if there is no conversation happening, eye gazing is a powerful way to deepen your connection.

Don’t interrupt
Allow your partner to speak, pause, continue, and express herself or himself fully without feeling the need to comment or show your agreement. Take turns giving space to each other to be fully expressive without competing to talk or say something. This means listening without saying “yeah, uh huh” or making commentary to show you understand or want to share something related. It can take some getting used to!

Share what is real for you in that moment
Whatever you are feeling or experiencing, try to share it with your partner without holding back or having walls. It will help you both understand what’s going on for each of you, in an honest and open way.

Set aside distractions
This should be a no-brainer, but leave phones and computers out of eyesight. During quality time with your partner when you’re intending to be present, just seeing the phone can be a distraction. Televisions and computers should be far away as well. Being present means letting your partner have your full attention, without other things competing.

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