My parents have been married for nearly 30 years, and I’m sure if they are honest about it, it hasn’t always been completely blissful and easy. None the less, this enduring love is something that truly impresses me. Ask anyone who has been committed to a healthy long-term relationship, and they will tell you it takes hard work and personal growth for both parties involved. As Valentine’s Day approaches it offers a wonderful opportunity to enliven and blossom your relationship. It’s a time to reevaluate and review how you’re living up to being a life partner. Are you doing your part to make the relationship fulfilling, meaningful, and lasting? Even if you’re not currently in a relationship, these tips can still provide you an understanding about how to deepen and grow future relationships. Everyone I know, including myself, has room to grow when it comes to compassion, kindness, humility, and patience. Valentine’s Day has become a special time of year where me make this extra effort. Take these ideas as a framework to deepen your relationship and begin applying them all year round.
Make more deposits and less withdraws in your partner’s love bank
Think of the health of your relationship as an emotional bank account. Every time you say or do something that is harmful or hurtful you are making an emotional withdraw. Just as a bank account has is a limit on how much we can take out, there are limits when it comes to how much conflict and negativity we can take, and we also need to replenish our account by making deposits. Be aware that withdraws are more impacting that deposits. Make sure to have 3-5 deposits for every emotional withdraw. This 5:1 ration will ensure you keep your account at a healthy and stable level. In order to make deposits on a daily basis, consider what your partner appreciates and how they express their love. According to Gary Chapman there are 5 Love Languages that can help us fill-up our partners.
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Your love language may be different than your partners. Pay attention to how they respond or simply ask them what fills them up emotionally.
Starting accentuating the positive
In order to keep your account full start to focus on your partner’s positive traits, assets, and strengths. It’s easy to notice all the things that bother us about our partner. Over time our initial infatuation will fade, and we start to get more annoyed with little quirks and tendencies after constantly being around someone. We forget all the things that attracted us to them in the first place and start to focus on the negative. When we focus on all the things that are wrong, the relationship will start taking a negative downward spiral that gets harder and harder to bounce back from. I used to be like this so I know what it’s like to be consumed with negativity. Talk about being bankrupt! Don’t let this happen. Are you on a negative downward spiral or do you radiate positivity to grow your relationship? Here are a few techniques to boost positivity.
- Write down 5 things you appreciate about your partner. Do this three or four times per week.
- Start to focus on and help your partner use their strengths. Where does your partner excel and how can you be a support and coach to help them engage in these skills and activities?
- Share and embrace the positive news in each others life. Get excited and enthusiastic about the achievements and accomplishments your partner shares with you.
- Find things to do that are fun and enjoyable. The more amusement, play, and fun you have together, the deeper your bond will go.
How to bounce back from emotional bankruptcy
If you have been facing struggles in your relationship it can take time to rebound and regroup from the dynamic that has developed. Fortunately, we are all able to make change and can start over when things have gone awry. The goal is to grow as a human being so you can be more patient and offer more love and compassion. As we grow as people we can cultivate the capacity to love more fully. Whether your relationship is where you want it to be or not, remember the 6 most important words to overcome interpersonal friction. “I am sorry,” and “I forgive you.” Developing humility and forgiveness are possibly the most important traits to making a relationship last a lifetime. People make mistakes and we can get under each others skin after decades of irritation. Be willing to let go of grudges.
Set some goals to improve your relationship this Valentine’s Day.
If you’re in a committed relationship where you desire to grow and expand the love and positive energy make efforts to improve your relationship starting this February 14. Be honest with yourself and be willing to make changes. How are you measuring up as a partner? What could you do to make your relationship more rewarding?
Continuing to develop into a loving compassionate person is becoming more and more important to me. I have been in a loving relationship for over 3 years now, and I am growing in positive ways as a person everyday because of it. You may be thinking, isn’t it time to tie the knot Joe? I’ll admit it, I have been accused my fair share of times of having “commitment issues,” and this is certainly the next step, so for anyone who knows me, there’s no need to press the issue! By understanding how relationships take work and that marriage is not a “fairy tale,” I feel much more confident in my relationship and how to make it flourish. Having a healthy relationship is what’s important to me. I want to become a better partner, someone full of encouragement and uplifting energy, and the ideas in this post, which were inspired by a past sermon series at my church, offer clarity and wisdom to make love an authentic experience. My strength at this point is being able to accentuate the positive in all of our interactions. I still struggle with this at times but have really grown out of my cynical and negative nature. I try everyday to illuminate the bright side of situations. My goal is to focus on filling up the love bank in my relationship through affection, playfulness, and words of affirmation. What’s relationship goal are you going to set this Valentine’s Day? Photo credit: AngelsWings