Thriving Intimacy & Relationships
4 WAYS TO CULTIVATE A THRIVING RELATIONSHIP
- Choose your partner every day or leave. Step up or step out of the way
Begin by choosing YOURSELF!
When you feel discontent within yourself, you tend to transfer that feeling of discontent onto your partner (usually by finding fault with their every move). Our partner reflects the deepest parts of ourselves. Whether or not you choose your partner usually reflects how truly you choose yourself. Self-love is essential to loving others. Accepting and loving yourself, just the way that you are, allows freedom to love and accept your partner without trying to change them.
Today, and every day – be kind to you. We have lots of thoughts throughout the day about ourselves. Be aware of the negative thoughts and shine humour on them while choosing the thoughts that make you feel good about yourself (versus nit-picking yourself constantly). Then share some of that accepting warmth with your partner.
When we fall in love with a partner we are never promised that their body that will stay the same forever. We’re invited to let go of what was, and choose their body as it is, every day. Bodies undergo lots of changes. Our hair can go grey or fall out, the shape of our physique and texture of our skin changes in many ways as we age. It’s important to remember that appreciating and validating your partner amplifies how they feel about themselves. Choose your body and your partners every day.
- Stay curious about your partner and prioritise intimate conversations
In the beginning of a relationship, we focus a lot of time learning everything we can about each other. The relationship is exciting because there’s difference and a lot to get to know. Quickly we get to know the other so well that we communicate less, it’s like we know each other so well we can read each others thoughts and actions before they happen. We make assumptions about our partner and this limits their space for growth and change.
Show your partner that you’re still interested in them by asking them about things that are important to them.
Listening is far more than hearing. Hearing is using your ears only while listening is using all of your body’s senses. Listening involves observing others behaviour that can add meaning to what’s being said.
Take time to deeply focus on your partner, make them feel important and have them feel your continuous interest. Put your phone down, turn the TV off, shutdown the laptop and look your partner in the eye while you talk with each other or hug for a few minutes. These brief moments of loving focus will help you both feel charged and deeply connected the rest of the day.
Keep an open dialogue about sex and intimacy. If couples are able to talk about sex and intimacy they can talk about anything. When you’ve finished making love have a conversation about your experience. Ask questions like, “I’m curious, how that experience was for you?” “What would you like more of or less of.”
Refrain from short responses like “Good”. Expand upon what “good” means to you and how “good” feels in your body in regards to feelings and sensations.
Allow your partner to see your vulnerabilities as this helps them open up, be more vulnerable, and this creates deeper intimacy and connection.
- Touch your partner without needing it to always evolve into sex
Frequent sex is essential to a healthy relationship, but unless your partner still feels truly chosen by you, the quality of your sex life will decline quickly.
Non-sexual affection is the ultimate go-to any time either partner expresses not being interested in sex. Non-sexual affection is also the go-to if you’re sensing that your partner has lost interest in sex.
Instead of forcing your sexual agenda or rejecting your partner in those moments, show your partner that you choose him or her, even when sex isn’t happening. Treat your partner with care and gentleness at those times by offering a massage, to fill the bathtub, or to help around the house.
You’ll notice an enormous mutual benefit from being considerate and unattached to sexual outcome. Often from a more sensual connection, with no agenda, a more sexual desire and connection will emerge.
Sex is about connecting it’s not a transaction. There’s no more “you owe me” or “I owe you”. You show up for one another because it feels aligned, not out of obligation.
- Thank your partner for something every day
It’s so easy to take your partner for granted, but the truth is — they don’t “have to” do anything for you. Prioritise more frequently recognising the kindness and effort your partner goes to for you.
We often miss opportunities to thank our partner. We don’t have to wait until our partner moves heaven and earth to say “Thank you”. There are small moments in every day where you can make your partner feel appreciated.
Look at your partner in the eye and say, “Thank you, I appreciate you” and give them a hug. For simple things like cooking dinner, doing the shopping, taking out the garbage, folding or ironing the laundry, tending to the garden, fixing things around the house or yard, and all the little things that make a big difference in your life.
If you’re married, you promised to look at him or her with love forever.
The best way to keep that promise (remember you did say “I do!”), and have your connection thrive for a lifetime is to show your partner you still chose them today. Watch your marriage light up with love and playfulness when you treat your beloved like the love of your life again.