Attunement is incredibly important within all kinds of relationships, as it allows for deeper connection, intimacy, and understanding. Though as therapist and certified sex therapist De-Andrea Blaylock-Johnson, LCSW, CST, points out, “It would be wonderful if our partners were mind readers, but what gets us to the point of attunement is clear communication early on in the relationship.”
Without open and honest communication, she adds, we simply can’t expect anyone to understand our emotions and needs. “It’s on us to tell our partners how we’re feeling so they can notice the signs going forward,” she adds. In this way, the more you explicitly discuss your emotions, the more attunement will happen naturally, as you just “get” each other.
Attunement is also a large part of infancy, often occurring between children and their caregivers very early on. Say a child is crying, for example, and the parent realizes their baby needs their diaper changed. Or from the other way around, a baby may cry if they see their parent crying. These early connections are the foundational bond between parent and child and can have a large influence on attachment styles.