8 Tips For Enhancing Your Relationship
Life is busy, but we have to make time for what we value. When I ask people who come into my office what they value most, quite often the answers are things like, ‘my relationship’, or ‘my family’. Yet despite these answers it may be that the relationship gets the least attention. Learning to make time for the emotional needs of our relationships is often not something we know how to do, whereas many people today understand what is necessary to maintain physical fitness! One of the most common problems I encounter when working with couples, is taking the relationship for granted. A relationship needs nurturing. Here are a few ideas:
1 - Make time for your relationship.
A healthy, happy relationship requires time and effort. Go on dates, do things you both enjoy, share a moment every day to be affectionate: smile at your partner, hug, and take time in the evening to share a quiet drink together.
2 - Enhance your sexual relationship.
Read books about sex and share them, take time to listen and communicate about what you both want from sex. Always be positive about sex. Think about making a good thing even better.
3 - Laugh
Share jokes, humorous stories, watch comedy shows and funny movies.
4 - Really listen to your partner.
Listening is harder than it sounds. It requires patience, humility, concentration and discipline. You can improve listening skills through reading and practicing. When your partner really listens to you, it feels great. Praise their listening efforts.
5 - Enhance your friendship.
How well do you know your partner? Over time, sometimes our thoughts, dreams and values shift. When was the last time you looked at your partner with curiosity? We never stop learning about each other and ourselves. How can you support your partner’s dreams?
6 - Ask if they need help.
During times of stress ask your partner, “How can I help you? What do you need?” Some people feel loved and cared for when they receive physical affection. Some people need a listening ear (and no advice or problem solving!). Some people need practical help (help with housework, managing finances etc). When in doubt about what to do, ask your partner.
7 - Be a mindful partner.
Think about what kind of marriage or relationship you want. Think about what gets in the way of your goal. Become better at respectfully asking for what you would like.
8 - Be able to be vulnerable.
Admit your shortcomings, when you feel hurt, confused, overwhelmed. Balance working on your shortcomings with accepting yourself. Never accept hurtful behaviour.