I thought this was an important topic to discuss this month. Valentine’s Day for a lot of couples is a way that people gauge where their relationship is at or going, which quite frankly isn’t a good idea. Especially if you know there are some needs that you may intentionally or unintentionally been missing.
The reality is people change which can directly affect your relationship. Work, children, financial pressures and taking care of one’s personal needs are ways that we may lose sight of what is important which is our relationship.
I believe being aware and paying attention to the change and other things in your relationship is important if you want to maintain a healthy one.
Some healthy habits include : regular date nights, practicing acceptance and extending grace rather than being judgmental or nitpicking, make seeing the good a priority, creating a safe place to share openly and honestly, making sure the positives expressions out way the negative implementing the 2 to 1 ratio (every negative that is expressed should be followed by a positive one), having routines in place for the morning and evening that include expressing gratitude and a form of physical intimacy.
So, what are some ways to you can maintain a healthy relationship?
Here is my tune-up list
Connection : How connected are you feeling to each other? Do your best to learn what helps your partner feel loved and do it (the love language book by Gary Chapman is a great resource and a great place to start). Make sure you are showing up daily putting your best foot forward when it comes to intimacy: mental, spiritual, emotional and physical.
Dreams and Aspiration: In my latest pop-up blog 10 Hassle Free Date Ideas, I shared having a date night with candles and take a shower. I recommended this activity because it creates not only physical vulnerability but a space where you and your spouse can share your dreams and visions. It is important to stay in tune with what your partner may be desiring, how to be aligned with that vision and figure out a way to support it.
Fulfilment: If you are feeling unfilled in your relationship or just in an indifferent stage, I suggest picking some projects together and working on them as a team. This is a reminder that are on the same page and it may help you discover new things that you enjoy as a couple.
Laugh and Have fun together: Make sure you are scheduling regular date nights, engage in good and meaningful conversations, travel (I cannot emphasize just how important and healthy traveling the world is for couples), I read the other night someone said sex is better in a hotel room. If the physical intimacy has slowed down, book a trip together or even a staycation, but remind yourself why you and your mate connected in the first place and stay in tuned with one another needs.
Resentment or Ill will feelings: Have open conversations consistently so that you are not harboring any ill will feelings or resentment for one another. So, check in with one another, make sure to apologize and implement change as needed. Be graceful in your conversations and the question how can I be a better spouse or partner to you. What do you need from me or ask what can I do to make things better for you in this moment? An ongoing conversation like this one is a sure way to reduce feelings of resentment.
Check-ins: Finally do a relationship check in on overall relationship satisfaction. Remember this should be a safe place so don’t take their response in a negative way but look at it like feedback, the same way you interpret feedback from your job. I like to call them glows and grows. What is going well in our relationship that I really want to highlight and do more of and what are some areas that we can grow in. The frequency of this check in is up to you but my recommendation would be at least quarterly or after a life transition (moving, switching careers, health changes starting school, children being born or leaving the home etc.).
As you all know I am an advocate creating and maintain healthy relationships, I believe implementing this checklist allows you to address in a healthy way issues that may arise in your relationship versus letting things spiral out of control and become unrepairable. I pray this blog post was helpful and you can start applying some of these tips immediately. Happy Valentine’s Day
And Always Readers,
Your Sista on the Sofa.