I have to say I am a big fan of the Winter Olympics.   For me I love watching USA Hockey.  Who can forget the 1980 US Hockey team who had to learn how to play as a team to win the gold.  I enjoy watching pairs figure skating, how two extremely talented skaters can learn to skate so fluidly in sync with each other almost as though they are one.  I think most couples long for this kind of synchronicity and fluidity in their relationships but struggle to make it happen.

Because Valentine’s day is quickly approaching, I thought it would be good to spend time thinking about relationships and this idea of how two become one.  How can we learn to become synchronized in our relationships?  I want to reflect on ways that can help couples to make this a part of their everyday life and not just something that we fall into occasionally because of luck or chance.

Couples and families are somewhat odd entities when you really think about it.  In our Western culture we are raised and socialized to be individuals, so it is difficult to consider ourselves as part of a system.  We may be able to understand ourselves as individuals who bring skills, wisdom and experience to a relationship.  It is very challenging however to consider ourselves as part of a fluid pair whose every action can enhance or negate the actions of our partner.

Olympic Pairs Figure Skaters practice six hours a day, five days a week not only to perfect their movements, but constantly are working on the synchronous movements.  These movements are practiced to make the two become one in their movements.  Couples can also find it very challenging to work out what it means to be a fluid pair.  How much time do you set apart to practice being a fluid pair in your relationship?

I encourage you to take some time with your partner these next few weeks and how synchronized you are with your partner.  Here are a couple exercises to try at home.  Watch pairs skating together.  (Record it on your DVD, follow it on the internet, or watch it on YouTube – no excuses).  Watch their movements.  Then:

  1. Talk about the pairs and how fluid their motions are together or how they were out of sync.
  2. Make a list of ways your relationship is already synchronous and ways you would like to become less like to individuals together and more like a pair.

In the weeks to come I will be continuing this topic in a series blogs on ways to make your relationship more synchronous and fluid.  Feel free to question, wonder and comment on these blogs.  Share the things that are working for you in becoming a fluid pair.

We are all social creatures in need of healthy relationships. As always we at Step By Step Counseling, LLC are here to provide support, counseling and encouragement in your relationships at home and in the communities you live in.  Let us know how we can help.

Eric Hamrick, is a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Missouri and a couples and family therapist at Step By Step Counseling.