Ask not what your partner can do for you this Valentine’s, think about how you can be sweet to your sweetie on-goingly.
I work with a lot of couple’s and when they first come in to see me communication has broken down on many different levels and emotions are raw.
The key to change is for each partner to work on his/her self first. Any change in one partner will spark a change in the other. Granted there are no guarantees and some couples will go their separate ways, however communication between the two partners can still improve to levels of clarity and respect.
As we celebrate Valentine’s day, take responsibility to instill positive changes in your relationship.
Here are 6 ways to consider:
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude: Research reveals that gratitude benefits both the giver and the receiver. When one partner does something for the other, no matter how small, i.e. makes a cup of tea, takes the garbage out without being reminded, let’s the other sleep in. Take a moment to show your appreciation, yes even for the small stuff.
- Say more than ‘I love You’: Make your words more unique to your partner’s character. Go beyond ‘I love You’ with further clarification about specifics “ I love how tender you are… I love how thoughtful you are…I love how enthusiastic you are when playing with the children”. This type of descriptive language goes right to the heart.
- Write a love note: An actual handwritten note carries so much positivity. It does not have to contain a lot of words, though it has to be handwritten. Not an email and not a text.
- Join something together: It is true that too much time together can be smothering and no shared activities together can create even more distance. Make plans to do something together e.g sign up for a cooking class or a dance class. Learning something new together changes up your routine and gets the creative juices flowing.
- Use time outs: Arguments are going to happen. Learn to self-regulate your emotions so that you do not escalate arguments. When angry have an agreement with your partner beforehand that when one partner is angry that it is ok to leave the room and take a time out. It is good to cool down and come back to the issue with a new perspective and a calmer demeaner. Learn to externalize the issue rather than personalize it. Rather than saying ‘you are spending too much money’… consider ‘I am wondering if we could look at how to be more creative in saving for our down payment’.
- Dates are very important. Plan a date night (or morning or afternoon) with your sweetie on a regular basis. It does not have to be expensive all the time. Budget for it and mix it up. It can be a Saturday morning coffee together at the park while the children play in the playground – to – a nice restaurant a few times per year. Having dates to look forward to keep the sparks alive.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.
Photo courtesy: Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ