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How a transactional relationship leads to disconnection

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

When you first get together in a relationship it's all hearts and flowers, you're on a high as the chemicals in your brain release the happy hormones, Dopamine kick starts the reward circuit and oxytocin and, vasopressin creates a deep bond and attachment. This stage of a relationship can last anywhere up to two years before things start to change.

Often the daily impact of life takes over, it's not that we care less or love less but, we do prioritise less. We don't make as much time for each other and the relationship can become very transactional. We share out the chores and home responsibilities. We become ships that pass, work and family commitments take over. We collapse into bed at the end of the day and think there's always tomorrow for us, for more intimacy.

That's where the challenge arises, this transactional living misses out the deep connection we need in a relationship. This may or may not come from intimacy but it definitely needs to come from closeness. If not addressed, transactional will lead to disconnection and ultimate the relationship falls apart or is stuck in a cycle of despair and unhappiness.

If you recognise this in your relationship, it doesn't' mean it's the end. Relationships go through many stages, it is normal during this stage to question if it's worth it. It is fixable if you decide you want to.

So where to start?

  1. Take some time to consider how you'd like things to be different and what's getting in the way of this.

  2. Dedicate some time together, at first this may only be an hour or two a week. Start small but stick to it!

  3. Discuss your feelings with your partner, use "I" statements to avoid a blame game. Be clear you love them and want to sort things out.

  4. Do random acts of kindness for each other, surprise your other half. This may be small like making them a packed lunch on a day you know they'll be busy.

  5. Get support, if this all feels too much get some support. Working with a coach either together or on your own will help you understand your feelings better and find a way to move forward.

The first stage is always awareness, listen to the thoughts and feelings when they come up, don't brush them aside. If love is still there, it's always worth taking action. Sometimes it's the smallest of changes that create the biggest impact.

I know how challenging relationships can be and how exhausting it is when things don't feel right. It is emotionally draining and you can feel so alone. Don't suffer, if you need support make the first step, and start today, with a no obligation chat. I'm sure you feel better once you say things out loud.

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