Being in a relationship, especially living with another person, can trigger us. One of the most important things is communication. Being able to share your thoughts, feelings, dreams, fears and emotions is paramount. Without communication, wires cross, judgements are made, expectations are created, assumptions sneak in and all kinds of arguments- big or small- can arise.
Love is a journey. It requires action, intention and a commitment to supporting oneather through life’s highs and lows. Love is about giving as well as being open to receiving, both of which can be challenging at times. Yet love is also about freedom, laughter, joy, adventure, exploration, connection, friendship and belonging. To experience the highs of a loving relationship, here are five wonderful habits to cultivate.
While we briefly mentioned communication already, it really is the pivotal key to a healthy and happy relationship. Being able to openly talk to your partner ensures that you understand one another, and even if you happen to disagree on things, you can have respect and understanding for your partners beliefs and point of view. No two people are alike! And while you may have plenty in common, you are always bound to discover differences in opinion and in what you like or dislike. Bottling up emotions creates resentment and only festers under the surface, guaranteed to explode at some point in time! When issues are dealt with in the moment, they don’t have the chance to escalate or cause ongoing pain or suffering. We can’t read our partners mind, so being able to share openly is so important. It creates respect and a deeper sense of love, appreciation and admiration. Take time to listen to your partner- really listen! Too often these days we listen while we keep our eyes on our phone! Allow your partner to be heard and create a space where you both feel safe and comfortable to be vulnerable. Prioritise communication and reap the benefits of a loving relationship.
Being in a relationship means being aware and mindful of your partners needs. Life is busy and day to day we are often swallowed up with an array of tasks, activities, appointments and obligations. It can be easy to start to take a relationship for granted and get caught up in our own little bubble. Being mindful often means being perceptive. Take time to notice how your partner is acting- do they seem a little down, a little distracted, anxious, euphoric?! Listen to the words that may not be spoken. Think about ways that you can surprise your partner in a supportive and caring way. These may be simple things like doing a load of washing when they have a big week, cooking a meal for the two of you when the other is home late, or simply checking in with a text message if you are running behind schedule. Being mindful and aware of your partners needs brings so much compassion, love and appreciation to a relationship.
Diversity and Spontaneity
As humans we are creatures of habit. Once the initial excitement of a new relationship dies down, we tend to fall into regular established patterns, habits and dynamics that are comfortable. So comfortable in fact, things can become a little dull! Think back to the start of your relationship when you went to the trouble to get ready, when you put thought into dates, when you sent them loving texts in the middle of the day for no reason. Keep the passion of your relationship alive by surprising and delighting your partner. Make the effort to get out and try new things- explore somewhere new, go camping or hiking, try a new restaurant, go to different events with diverse groups of people- keep things interesting. Pj’s and netflix is a delicious combo for many couples! Yet it can also be detrimental to the relationship in the long term! We need diversity and spontaneity in life to feel alive. Surprise your partner with things you know they will appreciate. Take it in turns of planning a unique date night each week. Variety is the spice of life!
Gratitude and Giving
Being appreciated is such a beautiful part of any relationship. Take time to show your gratitude when your partner does something for you- even if it is something small. The little ways we give to our partner become the big things- making a cup of coffee in the morning, a gentle foot rub at the end of the day, a shared smile over a group dinner conversation, grabbing the laundry off the line, walking the dog, a simple flower left on the kitchen table. When we stop being grateful for these little things, chances are, they may vanish! When you consistently show your gratitude, your partner will feel seen and appreciated. This creates a beautiful reciprocal cycle as both people in the relationship feel happy and drawn to give more, knowing they will be appreciated and the favour will be returned. Relationships are always about giving and receiving and the moment they become one way, warning bells start to sound! Give generously and show gratitude whenever possible.
Making sure that you practice self care and self love and dedicate time to filling up your own cup is essential for a relationship to thrive. Chances are there are many things that you love doing that your partner is not so interested in and vice versa. It can be easy to let our own needs slide in a relationship, but this only leads to resentment and despondency. Set aside time for you both to do the things that light you up. Allow time for you to nourish and delight in time with your own separate friends and family. Don’t feel guilty when you need space and time to yourself- this time we spend tending to our own needs and passions serves to make us better partners. You can’t give from an empty cup, so prioritise time for self care.
Finally, one extra bonus tip! One of the most incredible ways to strengthen a relationship is travel. Experiencing a new land, new culture and new place with someone you love is utterly magical. Travel allows you the time to reconnect without the pressures and distractions of daily life. As a result, you rediscover all the things that you love about your partner and the things that brought you together. As you try new things, you grow together, and create memories that last a lifetime. This is one of the reasons why we have developed our Pop-Up Couples Retreats at The Palm Tree House. A Couples Retreat is all about taking time out with the one you love in a beautiful luxurious space where you can unwind, replenish and combine a healthy getaway with a tropical adventure. Everything is optional and you and your partner have the time and space to create the retreat week your way. Fill up your own cup whilst also taking time to reconnect as a couple.