How to Re-Connect During Separation in a Relationship
Ways to rekindle the spark in order to bring you two back together
In this week’s Ask Joce Anything (on relationships!) we got a fabulous question from our community:
My fiance and I recently separated but with the intention of coming back together after taking some time and finding ourselves. Do you have any suggestions on how to rekindle the spark in order to bring us back together?
Thank you for this question. So many couples face these kinds of decisions — to separate, not to separate? What does it mean if we do? What does it mean if we don’t?
It’s brave that the two of you have decided that space is the place to gain clarity on the decision of life partnership. When we are in relationships that don’t incorporate the possibility of loss, of endings, we become slaves to avoiding that loss — this leads us towards unhealthy, toxic relationship behaviors.
Many couples also neglect to honor that their partner, although familiar, is a new person every day with new feelings and new experiences. They let the relationship get sucked into the mundane because curiosity dwindles.
Now, as you individuate and reclaim your identities outside of the “coupledom”, Re-Kindle Worthy, you’ll probably notice your curiosity start to pique. All those early tensions that intoxicate newly-coupled individuals start flooding back. But here’s the kicker — before going back into a committed relationship, dating even, it will be key to make amends for whatever caused you two to consider separation in the first place.
What were those untended ruptures that built up until you had a near break-up? Tend to those, Rekindle-Worthy.
Each of you should make a list of the lingering hurts and then, over a couple hangouts, go through them. Group theme-related hurts together but try to avoid going too deep in the weeds of details. Use non-violent communication to express the feelings, and what you need, if you two are going to re-commit to life partnership. This is the hard, and the healing, part.
But, it’s also the most essential to reach the “starting over” point, otherwise, you’re bound to repeat the cycle.
Once you both feel complete on your amends to each other, take some real space — you know the kind of time off that gives you those gentle nerves in the body — “what are they up to? are they thinking of me? I’m thinking of them. I want to reach out.” This could be a week or 10 days — trust your instincts and intuitions on the right length of time; decide together.
It needs to be enough time to cause a little discomfort but not so long that you’re totally “separate”. After this period, start going back into courtship, keep it slow — be curious about each other’s lives, go into the push-pull yumminess that led you both falling in love with each other.
The trick here is to move slowly and deliberate so you don’t get back on the train that took you to Separation Station by default. As you come back together, can you notice the ways your partner is different and ever-evolving even though you’ve been together so long? Can your partner acknowledge this about you, too? When in doubt — head to the C’s — Curiosity, Connection, Conversation and an M — Mystery.
Wish you a life of love, Rekindle-Worthy.
P.S. Keep sending your questions, Beautiful People! I love answering them.
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