Ok so you have rearranged your life to spend time with your partner – now what? I consider the time that you are connecting 1 on 1 to be extremely precious and not to be wasted so I have put together some ideas for getting the most out of this time.
Get to know your partner’s world and allow them to know yours. When you first met your partner your time together was full of questions designed to get to know them – bring those questions back. It is amazing how people change over time and if you don’t consistently check in with them you may be out of touch. As with most things these days there is even an app created by the Gottman Institute, which provides a list of questions to help you out – they are a lot of fun (see the Gottman love maps app in the itunes store)
Share your feelings. When you tell your partner about your day or anything else, go that next level and tell them how you were feeling about what happened. This adds more of you to your story because you are letting your partner know about events but also how they impacted you which is an important part of building intimacy.
Check in on your relationship. Show that you care for your partner by wanting to be there for them. Ask them if there is one thing today they would like you to do for your relationship and see if you can do it. Talk about the things that are going well and those that you feel are being neglected. A regular habit of doing this will make it much easier when there are difficult topics to discuss as you will have lots of practice but better yet it also provides a kind of early warning system to help you tackle the areas of neglect before they get big. You can then work together on a plan.
Talk about your hopes and dreams. Your partner cannot support you to reach them if they don’t know what they are.
Appreciate your partner and all the things they do for you, your family and your relationship. Talk together about all the things you are grateful for in your lives. Let them know they are loved and cherished.
Have fun together: share jokes; laugh and generally be silly; play games that allow you to interact (watching tv does not count). Exercising together can be fun.
Physically connect. Kiss, hug, touch, rub, massage etc, alone or in combination with any of the above in a non-sexual way.
Make love. Don’t forget to include this as part of your connecting time as nothing else produces the bonding chemicals to the same level.
And just a point on what to avoid in this time: any discussions that usually lead to fights; logistics such as scheduling who is doing what with whom and when or chore allocation. Book in times for these and put clear boundaries around them. They are a necessary part of life but should not consume your time any more than necessary. And if there are issues that never seem to get past the fight – get some help.
Doing these things will help you find a new level of joy in your partner and your relationship and make the 1 on 1 time so special that you will want to prioritise it over everything else no matter how busy you are.
photo credit marriageintimacyexpert.com