Ways to Get and Give Emotional Support in Your Relationship
Are you or your partner feeling a lack of emotional support in your relationship? Unsure of what you can do to get your relationship back on track? Well, don’t fret — we’re here to help with tips, tricks, and insights on how to give and get emotional support in your relationship.
What is Emotional Support?
Emotional support comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. At its core, however, emotional support is about providing love, support, reassurance, acceptance, and encouragement in a relationship. It’s especially important in times of stress or sadness as it stabilizes the relationship and provides a positive foundation for both partners.
What are the Signs a Relationship Lacks Emotional Support?
In order to address and improve emotional support within a relationship, you need to be able to identify when a relationship is lacking it. Here are some signs a relationship is lacking emotional support:
You and Your Partner Feel Distant
Without true emotional intimacy and support, you and your partner are bound to drift. Perhaps you and your partner are talking less or aren’t spending as much time together as you used to. If you’re not fueling your feelings of togetherness and connection, your relationship’s emotional support will ultimately break down.
You Don’t Discuss Your Emotions
Another sign your relationship is lacking emotional support is if you and your partner aren’t being fully honest or forthcoming with each other. When you don’t talk about feelings or emotions, you’re more likely to bottle up toxic ones or push your partner away out of fear. So do your best to open up about your daily problems and anxieties, and keep the lines of communication as open as possible.
You’re Leading Separate Lives
With this scenario, you and your partner aren’t only emotionally distant; you’re also spending very little time with each other. Maybe you don’t text much or go out on as many dates, or perhaps you’ve drawn up two distinctly different social groups.
You should want your partner involved in your life and desire to spend a lot of time with them. If you don’t want to do this or feel uncomfortable doing so, you most likely have an emotionally distant relationship.
You’re Struggling with Listening Problems
Even if you and your partner are having frequent conversations, your emotional intimacy is lacking if you aren’t actively listening to each other. This can cause a myriad of problems like forgetting important birthdays, anniversaries, or failing to truly understand what the other person is trying to say in moments of vulnerability. You can address this problem by practicing active listening, and intentionally communicating and connecting with your partner with compassion and presence.
You’re Not Physically Intimate
Another big sign your relationship is lacking emotional support is if you and your partner aren’t engaging in physical intimacy. Partners who are unable to emotionally support each other find it more difficult to provide physical support to one another. If they’re avoiding your physical touch, talk to them and try to get at the root of where your physical intimacy issues stem.
How to Give (and Get) Emotional Support
Now that you know the signs of emotional support issues, you’re probably wondering how you and your partner can better support each other. Here are some expert tips to help you address your emotional intimacy and support issues:
One of the most important parts of supporting your partner is showing up for them and actively listening to what they have to say. Show you have interest in what they have to say and express love and support as they answer any questions you have. Use open-ended questions to evoke true discussion and let them say whatever it is they need to say.
While listening, make sure to give your partner your undivided attention. Put away your phone and anything else that could pose as a distraction. Maintain eye contact, keep open body language, and use nonverbal cues to show them you’re receptive to what they’re saying.
Validate Their Feelings
Your focus in giving emotional support should be providing your partner with safe space where they can feel heard. This means avoiding giving advice unless you are specifically asked and refraining from telling the other person what they’re actually feeling or thinking. Reassure your partner their feelings are normal and you aren’t here to judge or criticize what they’re saying.
Show Your Support
If someone is expressing they need more emotional support, chances are they need help finding a way to feel emotionally centered again. Ask “what-if” questions and present options to them in a question format. Just remember you’re not there to fix their problems, but rather there to provide them support in finding a solution to their issue.
It’s important to show your support in tangible ways. Think of any concrete ways you can help or support them based on what they said. Do whatever you can to help them accomplish their action steps.
Provide Physical Touch
When it comes to romantic relationships, physical touch is incredibly important in communicating support. This touch doesn’t have to be explicitly sexual. Simple types of physical contact like walking arm in arm and cuddling can do wonders for emotional support issues.
Be Supportive of Your Partner in Public
Emotional support isn’t something you only have to do in private. Complimenting your partner in front of other people and speaking positively about them in front of their peers can make them feel great about themselves and you.
Give Small Gifts
Keep your romance alive by giving your partner gifts when they least expect. These gifts don’t have to be expensive, just trinkets or things that remind them how much you care about them. This makes both people in the relationship feel great.
Say “I Love You”
Sometimes the greatest way to show support to your partner is by saying “I love you.” These three words provide the ultimate reassurance to any partner and can help them navigate any hardships they’re having inside or outside of the relationship.
Final Thoughts on Giving and Getting Emotional Support
Relationships aren’t easy; they need work and compromise, and can often be downright stressful and disheartening. But you shouldn’t let emotional support issues sabotage the relationship you have. By reviewing the tips and techniques in this article, you can show your partner you’re there for them, rebuild your relationship, and get things back on track.
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