Being Bold in Life
She always completes her work projects on time. She's rarely late to pick up her kids from swimming lessons. She's the first to raise her hand when volunteers are needed. She's bold and she's thoughtful. She's the kind of friend you can always rely on for good advice or a shoulder to cry on. She helps you see the brightside when things seem messy and she's always looking out for your interests.
There's a problem here though. Through her boldness and care for other people's interests, she has forgotten to speak up for her own. Where this is most evident is in her relationship.
In every healthy relationship, there always exists an opportunity to connect on a deeper level but many of us fear going there. It's almost like a "don't rock the boat" mentality or more specifically, "maybe I'll get what I want out of my relationship once the kids are off to college". Sometimes the reason is also, "I've tried...once...to speak up for what I wanted more of in my relationship but it was ignored so I don't bother any more"
Nobody gets up in the morning hoping they don't give their partner what they need that day. It's just that needs can be pushed to the side as a secondary priority and labeled as "work." When you label what's required to deepen your relationship as something that requires too much effort, it can easily be ignored for days, months and even years. It just becomes easier to go through the motions and be in an okay relationship.
So how can you deepen your relationship when your to-do list is already a mile high? The first step is to have a conversation in a non-accusatory way. Saying something like,
"Honey, I've been feeling kind of blue lately and I'm wondering if it's because you and I haven't really had any alone time in awhile" Come from a place of discovery not a place of accusation. You want to be careful not to say something like, "it's been at least 10 years since I've felt connected to you".
Once you decide on when and where this alone time is going to occur, stick to it. If you push it off you are essentially saying that deepening our relationship isn't important and moreso, even talking about deepening our relationship isn't important. Yikes, that's a double insult.
During your alone time, start things off by verbally committing to listening more than talking. Each of you will ease up a bit knowing that you are going to be heard. If it’s easier, you can each take some time to write down what you want more of in the relationship. It is key here that you are not making a list of all the things that are wrong in the relationship. That will easily escalate. Focus only on things you want more of.
Remember we talked about being bold? Well this is your time to be bold in your relationship and help your partner become more aware of what you need.
For your first alone time, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a couple’s away retreat (those are great) but start with a small commitment of one to two hours of talking without distraction and a focus on listening. Aim to come away from the conversation with one or two actionable items and a commitment to do this again.
There are so many more details and tools I’d love to share with you so I look forward to being in touch again.
Live Love, Christine
[jbox title="Show Notes:" border="5" radius="15"]Christine Hart has been a Dating & Relationship Expert for over 14 years and has been featured in over 200 media outlets. She is the author of’ The Art of Living a Flirtatious Life’ and loves helping both singles and couples. www.yourdatecoach.com[/jbox]