Are you struggling in your primary relationship? Do you want to experience a deeper connection with your significant other?
In the middle of busy lives – jobs, kids, responsibilities, it can be easy to lose touch with the one you love. It’s easy to take people for granted; especially in a committed relationship. That distance is painful and it can be hard to know what to do: do you accept the current situation or fight to repair your relationship?
It could be a timing thing, and relaxing your expectations may serve you best. However, if there’s an observable pattern, then a well-thought out plan of action may serve to communicate your needs.
How do you put L.O.V.E. back into your marriage or relationship?
L. Listen. The first step in any action is to change what you are doing.
Actively listen more. Hear what your partner is saying beneath the words. Check to see if you got it right.
We are all so busy and distracted that this simple action can demonstrate that you really want to improve and change things for the better. If your partner doesn’t volunteer information: try another approach. Share something that is important to you. Remember to be on the lookout for the best time possible!
O. Opt in, say yes, instead of no. It is easy to fall into negative patterns and behaviours. Learn to recognize the patterns and choose differently. For example: your partner calls and she is working late again. How do you typically respond?
Frustrated? Resentful? Recognize how you are feeling with this news and choose to focus on how your partner may be feeling. What is it like to always be working late? What is it like to have such demands at work? Put your feelings on the back burner, momentarily.
Saying yes means to think of what the impact is on the other person first! Consider a surprise for them to show your appreciation with a delivered dinner to her work, or offer to go for a late dinner date…. anything other than closing down and stepping into quiet resignation of anger and frustration. Opt to think of your partner first.
V. Value your time together, make your significant other your priority.
Do you remember those times when you couldn’t wait to hear your loved ones voice? Or seeing them?
Creating the caring environment for inviting dialogue and value helps to achieve what you need. Give what you want. Go do new things; it doesn’t matter what. Just spend time together, without judgment.
Not spending time together is shown to create further distance in primary relationships.
It’s important to have balance.
E. Experience and have shared learning with one another, be it uncomfortable or comfortable. Share your experience and laugh!
When was the last time you took public transportation together or got lost driving a car together? Those times to depend on each other remind us of our vulnerabilities and interdependence.
L.O.V.E. can be rekindled like starting a fire. It takes the right time and patience and proper materials.
Jacinta Ball is a professional facilitator, mediator, conflict management expert and blogger at Intrust Communications Inc. She’s also the mother of four grown offspring.
Jacinta spent ten years as a Children’s Advocate with the United Nations. She has worked with all levels of government, MPs and MLAs, school boards, CEOs, businesses and individuals to help them achieve their goals. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.