The holiday season is upon us. However you do or don’t celebrate it, our culture is full of ideas of what to give to others. But how do you practice the strategies for giving and nurturing your intimate relationship? What qualities and characteristics are most important to you in your relationship? Make sure that you focus on developing these in yourself. Become the change you want to see happen.
We often have a laundry list of items we want others to give to us and less often ask ourselves what we bring to the relationship. To keep your partner and your relationship happy, we need to be the kind of person who has the qualities we have on our laundry list. Change yourself first and stop expecting your partner to give to you what you don’t give to them.
Here are six strategies for giving and nurturing your intimate relationship:
- Extend Your Love Fully
We need to communicate clearly to our intimate partner the feeling that “I’ve got your back no matter what”. Differences and disappointments will happen, that’s life. And we need to discuss them with compassion and loving-kindness as much as possible. Make respect for your partner be the valued standard that you uphold at all times.
- Open Your Heart Fearlessly
Total and gentle honesty and transparency are required for this type of closeness. We must not be afraid to be ourselves and share ourselves, no matter how difficult the subject or issue. Do not people-please, as you’ll be selling yourself out. Total commitment to reality and honesty supports the integrity of your relationship. We need to be open and willing to share, listen and understand. With that focus, we’ll always keep learning and growing. We will live a full relational life and love fearlessly.
- Tell Them What They Mean to You
Sometimes, because we feel so close, we think that our intimate partner can read our heart and doesn’t need words to confirm what we feel. Words are necessary! Whether it’s saying how important they are in your life or just telling them how you saw something that they’d love and wishing they’d been there with you. Make a conscious choice to actively show appreciation. Find things to appreciate in each other for the purpose of enhancing the good feelings and connection between you. Be sure it’s a genuine and honest appreciation, something we truly do see, value and appreciate.
- Support the Other’s Independence
No matter how close we are, we remain individuals with our own needs. Mutual respect for each other’s independence and time alone makes the relationship stronger. The key here is that it must be good for you, good for them, and good for the relationship. We can also advocate for each other in fulfilling each of our life purposes, as part of living fully and being true to ourselves. Accepting and being supportive of each other’s projects can lead to feedback that is enjoyable, helpful and beneficial. Your intimate partner may come with meaningful and nurturing relationships with their own family and friends that can enrich your life too. Acknowledge that they might want private time with these people.
- Enjoy Special Time Together
Don’t forget to have fun together. For intimate partners it’s especially important to investigate new adventures you can do together. Do other things in addition to dinner and a movie for your “date night”. Special time can include problem-solving sessions, whenever one or both of you are experiencing the problem. Close relationships provide an opportunity to explore our humanity, our need for fun and lightness, to balance our seeking an understanding of life.
- Keep Sex Vibrant
A stimulating, fun, meaningful, and yet considerate, connected and well-meaning sex life is at the heart of many intimate relationships. Combine sex with love. As our relationship years go by, we need to remain willing to do whatever it takes to grow and expand, to keep satisfaction, sex and romance alive and thriving. We do this knowing that it keeps our love connection strong.
There is much concrete, scientific advice about how to have the best relationship and the best sex of your life, no matter how old you are or how old your relationship is. Because the hormone-related drive for sex decreases with busy-ness and age, having sex requires more planning, creativity and open discussion that comes from loving, authentic relationship.
You deserve the best trained relationship coaches if you’re planning to invest time and money in your relationship. If you’re not ready to book an appointment, call us on 0421 961 687 to book a FREE 10 minute phone consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
This post was adapted from “Mindful Aging” by Dr. Andrea Brandt.