You might think you listen attentively to your partner when they come through the door each evening. But are you genuinely paying attention?
Allowing yourself to focus entirely on someone else’s needs can be a tricky thing to do. Especially in a world full of digital distractions!
We asked five people how often they really feel like they’ve got their partner's undivided attention.
A: “When my husband and I first got married I literally couldn’t think of anything more exciting than hearing about his day, but I’ve noticed this has gradually changed.
“I’ve stopped asking so many questions about his work. And he’s stopped asking me too. It’s as though we’re so comfortable we don’t feel the need. But I miss our in-depth conversations."
A: “I’m a bit obsessive about paying attention to my boyfriend. In my last relationship, my and my partner grew apart because we took each other for granted.
“I’m totally besotted with my new man and definitely don’t want this to happen again.”
A: “I find it difficult to know when to pay my girlfriend more attention. I sense that sometimes she just wants me to give her a cuddle on the sofa and allow her to switch off. But other times if I don’t encourage her to talk, I know she feels neglected.
“It’s pretty hard to get the balance right. But it’s something I’m very aware of - and I think that’s a good start!"
A: “My husband is very self-sufficient and sometimes I forget that he needs me to listen to him. He doesn’t put his needs front and centre, so it’s easy for me to play centre stage.
“This year I’ve vowed to make sure I’m not missing things that he needs from me. He’s such a lovely person that I hate the idea I’m not being there for him."
A: “I love listening to my girlfriend. To be honest, she’s one of the most interesting people I know. I often hear all this stereotypical stuff about guys who don’t listen… but for me, spending time connecting with my partner is my favourite part of each day.
“I feel a bit lost if we haven’t spent time catching up. Like I’ve been shortchanged!”