Giving of yourself creates room for intimacy

Maybe you’ve been with your significant other for 10 years, or you’ve hit a rough patch or stagnant point. Whatever your situation, maintaining a relationship is not easy. It takes effort on both ends, and ultimately, we just want to feel more connected to one another.

Here’s a few ideas to practice in your relationship that will show the other person you care and that you want to dig a little deeper, leaving you with a renewed sense of companionship and love:

1. Be Present and Listen

It’s so easy to go on autopilot when listening to your significant other’s sob story about work. No matter how much you love or loathe listening to them, it’s important to be fully present. Put your phone away, look them in the eye, and practice active listening.

Active listening is: “a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. Often when people talk to each other, they don’t listen attentively,” according to the Conflict Resolution Consortium at the University of Colorado. Here’s how it works:

  • Actively listen while the speaker is talking.
  • Once they’re finished, repeat – in your own words – what you thought they said.
  • When appropriate, you can interpret the speaker’s words in terms of feelings. For example, “You felt angry or frustrated when…”
  • The speaker can confirm that you understood what happened or what they said.

This not only shows you care about what they’re saying, but it also helps lay groundwork for resolving conflict if there should be an argument.

2. Know That Everyone Shows Love Differently

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We’re all different, and that’s what makes life interesting. Depending on your astrological sign, background and other factors, every person shows and expresses love differently. Perhaps your significant other shows love by cleaning up the house, but you want a more grand gesture. Understand how they work first before coming down on them. Finding love in smaller gestures will help you appreciate more happiness in your life.

3. Show Love

You can’t simply expect to receive without giving. However you show love, even if it’s different from your partner, express it! Maybe it’s hugging them in public, or giving them a foot massage at the end of a long day. Whatever it is, always go out of your way – even just a little bit – to show them that you care. Oftentimes, a small gesture of affection goes a long way.

4. Be Grateful

couple falling-in-love
The key to getting what you want is to be grateful for what you already have. Practice gratitude daily, and always make sure to let your partner know you are grateful for them. For instance, you could thank them for being in your life, mowing the lawn or working hard on their projects and passions. Tell them they make you a better person everyday simply by being themselves. Gratitude is the key to getting through the toughest of days, with a gentle reminder that everything is okay.

5. Work on Yourself

They say we can’t give love freely unless we love ourselves first. If you could use more self-love, take the extra time you need to work on yourself, so you can be a better partner and support to your significant other. Maybe this looks like picking up a new hobby, volunteering or starting a yoga or meditation practice. Maybe it even means seeing a therapist.

Whatever it is, the deeper we get to know our true selves, the deeper we can get to know our significant others. All we have to do is take that first step to acknowledge that we want to love deeper.

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