Imagine a relationship where even after years of being together you still get excited to see the other person, and where every day your love grows in mutual respect, depth and fulfillment.
These are five tips that I’m convinced have led to the strong relationship I’m grateful to be in.
1. Let Your Partner Play.
Here’s the thing, before we were ever in a relationship, we were single. Hopefully you had passions, hobbies and activities that you enjoyed before meeting your partner. Well, don’t lose that! If you want to be full of joy and fulfillment, you need to get it from things you enjoy alone. Why? This quality of joy will come with you into the relationship.
If you think that all your joy and happiness is going to come from your relationship—you are dead wrong and are setting yourself up for disappointment. This is also why it is so important to let your partner play. When your partner has a hobby, whether it is poker, shopping, playing ball or making pottery, you gotta’ let your partner do their thing.
Let them play, because this will fill them with satisfaction. This is the satisfaction that will come back into your relationship, and the time apart will make you miss each other and be more grateful for the time you have together.
2. Let There Be Space.
What happens when you give your favorite plant too much water? It dies. And what happens when you forget to water your plant? It dies. The solution is to water the relationship to a degree where you still have your space to grow individually. This way you can support each other’s growth by giving the necessary space to flourish.
When you come together and water each other, you’ll be strengthening each other with greater depth, spiritual nourishment and clarity.
3. Engage in Mutual Fun.
Having fun elevates your mood and gives you a break from the everyday activities. When you have fun and you feel better, everything in your life is better. This is why having fun with your partner is essential to elevating the joy you experience together which creates a more joyous relationship.
It is all too common to get stuck in the day-to-day life necessities, like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. Engaging in mutual fun keeps the spark radiating. Remember fun is very individual. It might mean going bungee jumping together, or can be as simple as going on a walk together. Whatever your fun is, make sure you have fun together to keep the joy alive.
4. Dare to get into the Sticky Places.
Look, the truth is nobody is ever gonna be as perfect as you are. You know what this means? All relationships will have misunderstandings, and fear around talking about sensitive topics. If you want a relationship with depth, you will dare to go into this zone of discomfort.
You will let yourself be vulnerable, talk it out and stay with it. You will not stonewall, say “nothing’s wrong” or “I’m fine” when you clearly aren’t. You will talk it out even if it’s in between sobbing, pacing or an intense battle to find the right words. You will persevere, stay with the problem and keep talking it out until you both see each other’s point of view.
You will thank each other for having the strength to go into those icky areas—the vulnerabilities and the things we feel are embarrassing and shameful. This is what will free your fear-monsters, create a closer bond and deepen your love.
5. Don’t Get Lazy.
It is all too common to start taking each other for granted. When you get into thinking “they will always be there” or “this is good enough,” you know you are getting lazy about the relationship. Listen—do you want ‘good enough’ or a frikkin’ amazing and fun relationship? You know what? It is all the little things that add up and that means not being lazy!
The little things are most important such as greeting them when they come home, giving a hug and kiss goodbye and actually listening and giving your full attention when they speak. All these little things matter. Just for a moment, remind yourself what you did at the very start of the relationship? Were you extra excited, present and generous? You have got to keep this up if you want your relationship to stay as happy as, and even better than when you started dating.
Getting lazy in a relationship is the top reason people grow apart. When one or both of you feel taken for granted, this is the poison that shrinks the love, fulfillment and success of any relationship.
Tova Payne is a Health and Life Coach. She is an expert in all elements of health—from nutrition, yoga, meditation, and living with more passion and purpose. She writes, speaks, and coaches others to live exceptional and fulfilling lives through living healthy in body, mind, and spirit. This year she will be releasing a ground-breaking inspiring book on nutrition that makes the mind-body-spirit connection. For a free guide to radiant health, and updates, sign up with Tova at her website: www.tovapayne.com.
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Assistant Editor: Brian Bruce Casteel Logan/Ed: Brianna Bemel