The Art of Joining Your Partner

Imagine driving fast down a highway, and someone drives next you at the same exact speed. Now imagine that you want them to stay there. You know this person is right next to because he wants to be. If you drive up ahead, and you have to slow down, this person is slowing down with you. He’s with you in whatever you’re contending with. Fast or slow. Maybe even frustrated at the change of pace, or change of feeling.

Joining is something that can be difficult to understand. It’s a combination of feelings surrounding feeling connected and as if you belong. It’s a part of being understood.  It’s more than just words.

This is a critical aspect to relationships, especially when there is struggle in the relationship. There’s already a sense of disconnection in these types of situations. This is why it’s critical to know that you have someone who is right “there” with you. This requires empathy. Understanding the emotional message that is being conveyed is the most important pathway to joining someone. This makes it so they can feel as though they are understood.

When you identify the feeling that your partner is having, and your partner is able to do the same, you can join them.

Many of us don’t know the importance of this, and there’s a reason for that.

We micromanage our relationships and what we expose. We offer only parts of ourselves. This keeps us safe, but it can feel like there’s something missing. That’s what makes this concept of joining so complicated. It’s in the undertones of who we are and our interactions. It’s not in the forefront. It’s not something that we’re taught about either, yet it’s built into all of us.

There’s one basic question that you can ask yourself to identify when you have joined or haven’t joined someone. “How do I know if we’re feeling connected?” The answer will be different for everyone, but there is a senses in the body that can help you tell the differences between disconnected and joined.

This will require some experimentation on your part. It doesn’t have to be a romantic partner that you try this with. In fact, the other person doesn’t have to know what your doing at all. Simply identify the sense that you have in different parts of your body, in different kinds of interactions. Notice what feels better and more connected. Then you’ll know that you’re truly joining.

Think of it as if you’re on a journey.

You have an idea of where you’re going, but you don’t know if that’s where you’ll end up. That’s just it. There are no guarantees. So remember that joining requires vulnerability. You never know if it’ll work out or if it will actually even happen. When it doesn’t work out, this can lead to a feeling of rejection or hurt. When you succeed at this, you have the opportunity to feel connected, understood and seen. You can feel like you’re part of the pack, and you belong there.

Joining really is an art.

This concept of connection may be difficult to understand. It’s complicated to write about as well. This is because it’s so subjective. It’s a feeling. When working with this, realize that it truly is an art. It’s not something that you’ll ever perfect, because the art of it includes failing and learning. However, in time, you’ll feel more confident. Trust will increase, and a sense of connection will be easier to come by.


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