Amplify the Positives
On Day 1, I introduced the first holiday relationship tip in this series, the importance of safety in any committed relationship. One way to increase safety is to increase pleasure. Now you would think that is a fairly obvious equation, safety equals pleasure, but there is a part of our culture that distrusts when things are going too well. We have sayings like: “It is too good to be true,” “Knock on wood,” or “Wait for the next shoe to drop”. I am saying, no; the more nice things you can do for your partner the safer it becomes. In the office we have exercises around saying nice things to your partner, doing nice things for them, surprising them pleasantly, and having fun together.
Appreciating Your Partner
Today I want to focus on appreciating your partner. Build connection by acknowledging the special things your partner does for you. I encourage couples to say these out loud: “thanks a lot, or I really appreciated it when you did such and such or you look great, etc.” Again from an old brain’s point of view, if I am constantly hearing, “thanks a lot, or I really appreciated that”, my old brain can relax, this is not the enemy over there, it is my ally, we are on the same team.
A challenge my wife and I took up a year or so ago was: three appreciations a day for a month with no repetitions. Crystal is a great cook, so I could say, that was a great meal, can’t use that one again. What it made both of us realize was just how much we do for each other but which could be taken for granted. It forced both of us to really pay attention and we both clearly benefited from the exercise.
Relationship tip 6
Today’s tip is to give your partner three appreciations each day for the rest of the 12 days of Christmas. Pay attention to the special things your partner does for you and acknowledge them verbally. You are refilling the Space Between with positive energy.