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Affection ConnectionConnection

Remaining physically and emotionally connected can be a challenge when a relationship includes conflicting demands on each partner's time and attention. It is not uncommon for couples to end a week feeling as though they've hardly seen each other, let alone experienced a profound sense of connection. These activities will enable you to explore ways of staying connected, even when you are apart by virtue of distance or distractions.

For Individuals: Reflecting on Connections

Spend some time writing whatever comes to mind to complete these thoughts:

  • "I feel disconnected from you when..."
  • "Even when we are busy or apart, I feel close to you when..."

For Couples: Staying Connected

Together, write down some ideas for creating and maintaining connection. Encourage each other to be open-minded and respectful of boundaries.

When distance is involved, some ideas to consider include:

  • Phone calls, text messages, instant messages (perhaps a quick check-in, a loving message, or calling at pre-arranged times)
  • Letters, by postal mail or e-mail
  • Love notes hidden for discovery during a partner's absence
  • Playing a CD or tape of your partner's favorite music

When distractions are an issue, consider:

  • Travel together (day trips or longer vacations)
  • Shared meals (preparation, dining)
  • Lighting a chalice and singing a song together before meals
  • Creating a new tradition
  • Finding uninterrupted time for sexual activity
  • Attending worship services as a couple
  • Taking classes together
  • Reading aloud to each other
  • Shared volunteer or social action activities
  • Joint home repair or landscaping projects

After brainstorming a list, consider whether each idea will realistically suit your personalities, tastes, and lifestyle. Remove from your list any ideas that are not mutually agreeable.

When your list feels complete, select one or two ideas and set a goal for the coming week. At the week's end, review your goal. Discuss what made achieving it possible or what got in the way of achieving it. Set another goal for the next week.

For Couples with Children: Family Connections

Have a family discussion to brainstorm ideas for creating and maintaining connections with one another. Make sure everyone gets a chance to give at least one idea. After generating a list, select two or three ideas that will realistically suit your personalities, tastes, and lifestyle. Set a timetable for when and how you might begin to carry them out.

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