Good communication is essential in all areas of life, but none more so than with our partner if we are to develop or repair a relationship. It fosters emotional intimacy which can produce feelings of fulfilment, acceptance, trust and emotional security.
A listening ear; and eyes
Try listening to yourself, sometimes. How we sound when wanting to get our point across can make or break the foundations of a meaningful conversation. If you start off with aggression, a raised voice or sarcasm, naturally your partner will respond defensively, returning the serve equally as strong. Remain calm, reach out to hold a hand, look at each other in the eye, and say what’s bothering you to relay your feelings to your partner. Equally important is to listen. We can listen not only with our ears; we can allow our eyes to listen as well because if we don’t listen actively or attentively, our partner will feel unappreciated. Try to understand your partner’s point of view with empathy.
Show appreciation, daily
Our negative thoughts can creep in, reminding us what might be lacking in a relationship, but we can counter these with positive messages of appreciation. It might be the way they handled a situation, certain qualities they display or simply how nice they look today. Appreciation and praise make us feel valued and goes a long way toward forming a strong partnership.
It’s what makes them them
A quote from Bernard M. Baruch – “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Your partner might irritate you at times; and you them, no doubt. But does this really need to be addressed or should you just accept that’s what they do? Individuality is a gift of life, so try to embrace it. Their little idiosyncrasies can be celebrated instead of criticised. If they like a little time and space to themselves it’s probably to draw on different energy, or to simply do nothing in order to contemplate, reflect and cleanse the mind, for time is a precious commodity; if not used wisely it’s wasted ignorantly. Have you done it yourself recently?
You know what makes you feel loved, but have you discovered what makes your partner feel loved?
Of course, actions speak louder than words. Sometimes we overuse the obvious “Love you”; “Love you too”; “Love you more”. We can demonstrate our love as well, with thoughtful actions that might come as a surprise to our partner. “I bought you this because I thought you might like it.” Or perhaps plan to cook a dinner, and prepare the table with a flower or candle centrepiece. When was the last time you gave your full attention? Intimacy is important too; to touch, embrace, and hold hands, with the occasional squeeze, followed by eye contact, a smile, and then, “I love you”.
We shouldn’t need Valentine’s Day to remind us…
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