How to build a closer bond with a partner

It is something we each seek in our relationship—a close bond with someone you love and cherish, a space where you can just be, a relationship characterised by the perfect level of closeness, sharing and caring. Yet these are things that can be rather elusive in our romantic relationships.

When a couple walks into my consultation chamber I often find myself faced with a common thread of emotions—disappointment, anger, sadness. The bad prominently sticks out. The good gets lost in the background. People struggle to identify and remember the wonderful moments they had with each other. They speak of all the times that they felt distant. They struggle to identify the point in time when the distance waltzed its way into their relationship. And they also experience repeated failure in being able to fix it.

There are some common threads that are often responsible for the distance people feel in their romantic relationships. Taking steps to fix these can be helpful. Let’s take a look at some of the elements that can play a helpful role.


The busy, hectic schedules make it difficult to connect. Engaging can be a painful experience after a long, hard day at work. It is easier to share with a colleague who knows exactly what goes on at work. But that’s where the mistake occurs. Sharing with your partner is an irreplaceable element. Finding the energy to share something, anything is important. From a conversation that happened, to a bad moment that transpired, an article you read or a book that was recommended, a funny joke you heard on radio to a clipping you saw on YouTube—you must find it within you to share something daily to maintain the connect with your partner.


Talking through

It is easy to sleep over a problem and then forget about it the next day till the time that it resurfaces in a different conversation. Ignoring and shoving a problem under the carpet has never helped anyone. It only helps in enhancing the disconnect. Waiting for the issue to fix itself is a mistake. You must be proactive and despite the energy it may require and the repeated interaction it needs, you must find the energy for it. If it’s a point that’s unresolvable then discussing that too is important and coming to a conclusion to agree to disagree is also a solution.


Letting go

Holding on to a grudge, nursing it and nurturing it is certainly a paradox to improving the quality of a relationship. Finding the ability to let go is crucial. Letting go involves reaching an understanding in your own mind about the problem and the reason for the lack of its resolution. It involves recognizing the beliefs you have had for long and also their detrimental impact on the situation. It means dissolving the grudges and looking at situations with a fresh perspective.


Be a giver

Relationships are nurturing when they involve both partners giving. Learn to be a giver. If both of you mutually practice this aspect it would be rather satisfying. Stop focusing on what you can get from your partner. Instead see what you can give. Small things can have a lasting impact so find the energy and the bandwidth to determine those small things that can make an enormous difference to your relationship with your partner.


Be emotionally available
A big gap in most relationships occurs because the partners feel that they do not have the requisite emotional support that they need to navigate the problems they experience in their daily living. Remember that you must show up and be emotionally available when you see your partner struggle. Solving a problem is not the focus. It's knowing that you have a person you can lean on and whose shoulder you can cry on that can make a world of difference.

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Find time for you
You cannot be a giver unless you also focus on finding time for yourself and doing the things you love. Your self-care is rather important and you must push to find the time for you. Relaxing, rejuvenating and replenishing your stores of energy are rather important aspects that you absolutely cannot ignore!

So take these steps and keep reminding yourself of them to ensure that you can build a closer relationship with your partner which is mutually satisfying and gives both of you immense happiness and pleasure.

—By Kamna Chhibber

Kamna Chhibber is the Head (Mental Health), Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare

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