I recently read a very intriguing article regarding a study on social connection. “Man is by nature a social animal…Just as human beings have a basic need for food and shelter, we also have a basic need to belong to a group and form relationships.”

It’s true. Deep down to our core, we as human beings REQUIRE connection and contact to thrive in this world. Just as importantly, we also need time apart from others to reconnect with our essence in order to stay in tune with our truest selves. Do you feel like this sometimes? You might crave time away to recharge, decompress and simply have some peace to listen to your thoughts and reconnect to YOU. Forgetting this time apart can lead to you feeling exhausted, run-down, tired and cranky – not bringing your best self to your partnership.

And it’s important to recognize that this is true for both you AND your partner. As you go through your relationship, it will ebb and flow through feelings of connection and withdrawal. Not only is this natural, it is also useful if you allow it to happen in a healthy way. Often times when this happens, we freak out and feel that there’s too much distance between us or maybe the opposite – our partner is too needy.

Take it all in stride with the understanding that your relationship will always go through periods of intense connectedness along with periods of withdrawal.

Here are 3 steps you and your partner can take TODAY to healthily move through these periods:

1. Talk about this phenomenon with your partner.

2. Figure out what your specific pattern looks like and how you both can support each other even when you’re not in sync with the ebb and flow. Sometimes you will want more connection and your partner will want less. When both of you can make the commitment to respect and understand where you’re at, it’s so much easier to give a little and take a little.

3. Grow your awareness of any “Upper Limits Problem,” an idea developed by the amazing Gay & Katie Hendricks. In case your new to this term, Marie Forleo describes it well, as “an internal thermometer for how much success, wealth, happiness, love, and intimacy we’ll let ourselves experience…When we exceed our internal thermostat setting and life gets super duper OMG good – we unconsciously do things to sabotage ourselves, so we can drop back to the old, familiar place where we feel in control.” Read her full article here.

As always, keep enjoying the ride!

How has your relationship strengthened in the past month using these new tools? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!