Relationships don’t run themselves any more than careers do. Those who take their professions seriously look for opportunities to acquire new skills and use those skills to benefit the business, which in turn supports them individually. Every healthy human endeavor needs input and maintenance to keep running. Relationships are no exception. The habits below keep you focusing on and rediscovering each other so the relationship is fed with positive experiences and true connection. 1. Spend one day in silence together each month.True friendship is sitting together in silence and feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had. By being silent together, a beautiful energy is created. When you give silence a chance, connection deepens even without any outward communication. Silence serves to:
- Strengthen the Bond Between Individuals: A couple’s ability to find a safe and affirming space in silence is a gift of trust and peace. It reflects their independence as well as their bond.
- Soothe by Just Being There: Researchers (Schore, 2003) confirm that when people are intimately connected they are acutely aware of each other’s non-verbal cues in a way that impacts each other even beyond conscious awareness. “Just Being There” serves as a powerful tool to soothe and support each other. It rehabilitates when the affronts of the day to day have eroded one’s center, underscoring the potency of connection — even without words.
- Connects When Words Fall Short: there is an intimate bond that couples share physically that cannot at times be translated into words. For some, words have been so misunderstood that silent intimate connection becomes the step before the words, making this a crucial connection.
- Reforms silence into a positive aspect of relationship: side by side meditation, sharing nature, walking together, driving in the “company” of the other, enjoying the sounds of silence all bond two individuals. The absence of conversation won’t cause stress when couples reimagine silence as a nourishing phenomenon.
2. At the end of the day, tell each other and thank each other for the different ways you said, “I love you.” In other words, one thing you appreciated that they did that day. For example, taking out the trash without being asked, or a glance, or purchasing tickets to a concert you want to go to, etc. While you may assume they know you appreciate them, articulating this lets your partner know you’re not taking anything for granted. Try this process with your partner once a day:
- one thing you did this week that I appreciate is_____
- what makes that so special to me is____
- and when you did that it made me feel______
Notice the response of your partner. It’s one of the most beautiful gift you can give her or him. 3. Write down your commitments to each other. The essence of marriage is the commitment to pursue life goals together. Shared commitments provide a structure which unites the two of you allows you to work on becoming “one flesh”. Some of us think that marriage itself is enough of a commitment. We are all fed the illusion that you don’t need any goals outside of one another. Not true. Love is not all you need. Marriage is a powerful tool to help us pursue the things we care about in life with added energy. Here are a few examples:
- the commitment to support each other’s life and career goals,
- the commitment to support each other’s physical well-being and health,
- the commitment to have fun together,
- the commitment to create a safe and secure space for each other.
- The commitment to respect, love and take care of each other,
- The commitment to support each other’s spiritual growth This practice helps remind you why you are in this relationship.
4. Once a month on the full moon, review your commitments to each other. Bringing your commitments into consciousness refocuses them and keeps them alive. Creating and adhering to commitments is an ongoing and fluid process. Commitments should be revisited and discussed on a regular basis since your commitments will expand, change and evolve as you move into greater spiritual connection 5. Each Sunday, set your intention together for the week. Write it down for each other and check each other’s list the following week. When you set an intention, act on it! 6. Ask each other every night, what was the best part of your day and what was the most challenging. One study found that couples married for ten years or more spent no more than 7 minutes speaking to each other directly each day. This is a great way to check in with each other. It’s important to take time to get caught up and be able to hear the wonderful things that happened that day and also the more difficult challenges. 7. Each evening, tell each other five things you are grateful for today. As we age, we grow and change. Give your partner the gift of knowing how your perceptions are evolving and your world changing on a daily basis. Telling each other things you’re grateful for will help you to stay in and appreciation mode and allows you to reframe your experiences in the positive rather than default to the negative. We tend to forget all the good things that happen during a day and focus on the negative.
Some Guidance on Creating Conscious Connection
Too often, our love relationships fall to the bottom of the priority list. The advent of children or a drive toward a higher position at work can slowly eclipse the centrality of the relationship that first gave us the strength to take on these new challenges. If you’re interested in exploring opportunities to enrich your relationship, explore the workshops I’m offering. To discuss private counseling, feel free to call me at 619- 990-9032 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Extraordinary, life-long relationships full of passion and intimacy ARE a reality. It can be your reality when you learn how to connect in the most conscious and loving way. Couples therapy supports the relationship by guiding you through practical, proven skills and strategies for communication and connection.