Why This is an Essential Time to Open to Your Loving Partner

by | Mar 28, 2021 | Anxiety, Open Your Heart, Relationships | 12 comments

There are hardly words to describe what we’ve endured this year as a species. We’re exhausted. We’re tired of being on high alert. We’re at our wits’ end trying to take care of our children without enough help. We’re tired of sharing too-small spaces with too many people. As Krista Tippett and clinical psychologist Christine Runyan discussed on a recent OnBeing podcast, our nervous systems are stressed and dysregulated, as they’ve been since the moment the pandemic hit and our flight-fight-freeze response was activated. Most of us have been in varying states of fear and uncertainty ever since. The yearlong hypervigilence and our attempts to make sense of this threat has resulted in our current exhaustion and subsequent irritation, moodiness, apathy, and brain fog.

In times of trauma, we typically turn toward our loving partners to help us regulate and find emotional safety. But when we’re trapped with our one special person – or in the constellation of a family – the proximity and lack of oxygen flow that comes with the normal in-breath and out-breath of daily life is too much and causes us to withdraw, feel irritated more often than usual, and even question if this is the person you want to be with. Add pandemic stress and fatigue to a mind prone to relationship anxiety, which means you’re already familiar with the mental territory of questioning if this is the “right” partner for you, and you’ve created a recipe for heartache, distance, doubt, and emotional withdrawal.

I’ve heard of more separations and divorces this year than ever before. Social distancing in the outer world has filtered into emotional distancing at home. For the reality is that even if you’re not on the verge of separating, the stress and isolation of the pandemic has caused many people to turn away from instead of toward their loving partners.

Yet we need our partners more than ever. We need to find our way back into their warm laps and loving hearts. The person you love most is your best chance at regulation. But just as we’re going to have to learn how to re-enter the world and re-grow the skills that allow us to be in more regular social contact, so we need to learn how to see our partners through clear-eyes and remember that they’re our safest person, the one we trust and love most in the world.

How? How do we find our back when we’ve been shut down and shut in for so long?

Through following the Love Laws and Loving Actions that I teach in Open Your Heart. I created the Open Your Heart course almost ten years ago as a followup course to Break Free From Relationship Anxiety as I could see that lack of attraction and not feeling “in love” enough were two of the biggest spikes that showed up for those struggling with relationship anxiety. But as I’ve ushered over a thousand people through this course it has become evident to me that the Love Laws and Loving Actions that I teach aren’t only relevant to those who struggle with relationship anxiety.

These Laws and Actions are the building blocks of a healthy relationship. They’re the nuts-and-bolts mindsets and actions that, when practiced, lead to an open heart and help you shrink fear so that you can see through clear eyes. During times of ease, they’re practical reminders that help us stay connected to our partners by focusing on the actions that grow love.

And during times of heartache they can offer tangible stepping stones that can help us find our way back to each other as we’re stumbling home from the war of this pandemic. They can gently and clearly offer a roadmap back into the heart of the most important person to you, the person who has stood by your side during this year and perhaps for the past twenty years.

Spring is arriving in the Northern hemisphere and on her warm breath she whispers, Open. Open to new birth. Open to possibility. Open to the one you love. 

To open doesn’t only mean that we open to goodness and love and spring’s fragrance that greets us at daybreak.

To open truly means that we open even to the closed places, to the projections, to the intrusive thoughts that say, “I don’t love you enough or in the right way. I’m not attracted to you. I wish you looked or acted different.”

To open means that we learn how to meet the fear-based thoughts and recognize them as a bridge that leads us to love.

To open means that we take the risk to emerge from the shell of this past year and remember what it’s like to hold hands and hearts and bodies with our partner.

This is what I teach in Open Your Heart: A 30-day course to feel more love and attraction for your partner. Are you ready to take Spring’s hand and find your way back into the arms of your loving partner after this tumultuous, challenging year? Now is the time to return. Now is the time to learn how to open to fear so that you can find the jewel of love that lives at the center of your scared, grieving, and protected heart. The 18th round of this course begins on Sunday, April 10th, 2021, and spots are filling fast. I look forward to meeting you there.


  1. I purchased this course a few years back, but I definitely want to dive deep in to it again.

    I have had a weekend full of emotional turmoil and major anxiety. I really think the pandemic is getting to me. Not seeing friends and having more exciting experiences sure is wrecking a havoc on me. I feel like I was triggered left right and centre. I’m currently doing a course on Positive Psychology and Attachment Theories were brought up. Typically I feel as though I have an avoidant attachment style and push my completely wonderful and loving boyfriend away, but something in the course triggered me into having an insecure attachment. No doubt my nervous system is overloaded. and on major overdrive.

    I hope doing this will soften my walls, keep me calm and bring us closer together.

    • You should receive an alumni email with a discount code from my assistant if you would like to take the live course again.

  2. I’m happy to say that I actually have enjoyed the solo time with my husband. The pandemic hasn’t affected our relationship at all, really. My social circle has definitely narrowed as a result of the pandemic (even though I was never a social butterfly to begin with) and I have entered a new okayness with being a hermit with my husband, though I am slowly coming out from under my rock as the weather warms. Reading your post made me feel grateful that I am able (thanks to your courses) to feel such a level of ease and comfort with my husband. Listening to anxiety would have made me miss out on the best person in my life!

    • I’m so happy to hear that! Same is true for me :). I feel so grateful that the pandemic has brought my husband and I closer together, especially since surrounded by couples who are struggling.

  3. I’m so glad you talked about this. Moving in with my partner during the pandemic triggered anxiety in me I didn’t know I could feel before, and turned the person with whom I’d previously felt most safe into someone I felt like I didn’t know. The anxiety has gone up and down along with my mood, but I’m still here and I’m still doing my best to work through it as a part of me that’s nothing to do with my partner. It’s hard. Would love to hear other people’s experiences, because feeling alone in it all has been one of the hardest things about all this for me! x

    • Your comment made me feel a lot better. One of my biggest intrusive thoughts lately is that I don’t “know” my partner. Haha. I thought I was alone in this to be honest. I am so glad you mentioned it.
      I am still trying to figure out what it might mean. There is just so much uncertainty in the world right now and so much lack of cohesion that I feel it partly stems from that and is being projected onto my relationship.
      I also think that without outside relationships and activities, it is really easy to “not know ourselves.” I do not currently have a big sense of belonging or community because of the pandemic. I think this probably creates a lack of knowing of myself, as a part of a larger community, and that is also being projected a bit onto my partner.

      • YES. What IS that?? I’m so incredibly glad to hear you both use those specific words about your partners and your relationship anxiety, because it’s EXACTLY how my anxiety manifests—I dwell on the utterly disturbing feeling that I somehow don’t feel like I know my partner anymore, like he is a stranger to me. It’s a crazy-making feeling, and I’d never heard anyone else with RA describe it quite that way. WHAT A RELIEF!!

        I also move in and out of that feeling in phases, and have successfully toned it down from a ten to a three in recent months, but it’s still one of the most unnerving aspects of anxiety I think I’ve ever felt. And for me, it goes hand in hand with loss of attraction (how can I be attracted to someone I don’t even feel like I know/trust?). If anyone has any theories as to why this happens, I’m all ears!

        • Solidarity! And also name solidarity Niamh, it’s mine too (good taste!) 😉 lovely to hear from you both and a relief to me to know I’m not alone in that feeling! xxx

          • LOL! How perfect!

  4. This pandemic – and other things as well, has taken a toll on me. My question is this – could i benefit from this if i feel like theres a voice telling me I shouldn’t want to try? That seems counterintuitive..

    • Sounds like fear/resistance to me 🙂

    • I agree with Meredith: this is the classic voice of resistance. We have to continuously work against that voice if we’re going to continue on the healing path.


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