Does your relationship need a tune-up? Have you been neglecting it? Does your energy go elsewhere leaving only crumbs for your partner?
Valentine’s Day is only several days away and while candy and flowers may be nice, the most important thing is nurturing your relationship.
- Check-In Time: Pick a set time at the end of each day and spend fifteen minutes checking in with your partner. Take turns sharing something positive about your day, and let your partner know at least one thing that you appreciate about him or her.
- Create Win/Win Resolutions: When you and your partner disagree, think in terms of the relationship winning, not you as an individual. Work on compromising to create win/win resolutions.
- Give Emotional Support and Validation: You do not have to agree with your spouse, but be eager to listen and validate their opinions and concerns. A healthy relationship is one in which two people lift one another up rather than tearing each other down.
- Practice True Intimacy: Invite your partner into your private world. When you are angry, never use your partner’s intimate disclosures against him or her. This will tear down trust and destroy intimacy. Your partner needs to feel safe sharing with you.
- Be Kind: Love is kind. The classic saying that many of us grew up hearing, Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me, is not true. Harsh words can destroy your relationship. Think before you speak. Communicate with kindness.
- Forgive: Your partner is not perfect. You are not perfect. Your partner will make mistakes, and your partner will let you down from time to time. Keep communication open and let your partner know, in a non-attacking way, how their behavior makes you feel. Be willing to forgive.
- Healthy Communication: When communicating with your partner use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. “You never help me!” is likely to make your partner defensive, opt for this alternative, “I feel overwhelmed and need some help.”
- Schedule Regular Date Nights: You dated when you first met, don’t stop now. Get a babysitter if you have small children. Your children will benefit from the energy you put into your relationship.
- Switch It Up: Get out of your comfort zone. Doing something new can add excitement to your relationship.
- Turn Off Your Cell Phone: Quality time together does not consist of texting other people while you are out on a date with your partner.
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*Be sure to look for the next post:
Feeling Alone on Valentine’s Day: Help is on the Way!
Written by Kristin Barton Cuthriell M.Ed, MSW, LCSW