07 Aug Love Can Be Great- Here Are Ways to Make It So! (Part 2)
Get to “we” in a loving relationship. What could be lost in experimenting with the more concrete, open communication about what you seek? When you let your love know what you hope for and explore that together, the tools and possibilities for assistance can become more apparent. Just as important, ask what you can do for your love periodically. This not only shows your willingness and commitment to be helpful but also builds trust ─ a basic foundation for caring, giving, and doing well together.
If you find there’s little or no receptivity to your requests and questions, that may suggest additional exploration, openness, and some playful humor would help. With that experience and attention, you can reach new levels in conversation to improve mutual understanding. But, typically, you’ll receive a helpful response, showing your love has your interests at heart. While you’re appreciating what you may have taken for granted, take additional time to enjoy what you do have with your partner now. Let them know specifically what you like, love, and value.
In addition, keep in mind that styles of behavior and expression vary, as you ask yourself:
- How does your partner show empathy, sensuality, and kindness?
- What specifically do you cherish in your loved one?
- When and how can you express what you appreciate in their qualities and actions?
- How do you know you can trust your partner, based on similar interests and values?
- What do you enjoy doing together?
Though what you say is important, how you say it strengthens your authentic pitch. You can’t control peoples’ perceptions or actions, but you do have choices about your tone of voice and body language such as facial expression and posture. They can combine to encourage a cooperative response, send a mixed message, or evoke a negative reaction that sends you both back into automatic pilot behaviors mirroring unresolved resentments.
How to sustain your loving relationships using couples’ conversation. Since little remains the same, each of you will have changes within yourselves and brought home from external situations. As you create greater clarity and commitment about how you want to lead your life and what you want to do, continuing conversation will help prepare you both to assist one another. That will also stimulate your partner to grow and explore as well, I believe. (Of possible use: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone, Patton, and Heen.)
Furthermore, ongoing communication, especially about possibly uncomfortable matters can vitiate unproductive patterns and outcomes. You’ll hear your own voice better and open opportunities to consider different perspectives and ideas. The process could also limit sour surprises and misunderstandings.
Choose among the topics below to ease discussion for clarifying concerns and choices as well as to provide opportunities for mutual support and collaboration. Check relevant options, adapt them, and add your own ideas. Perhaps do a simple list of main, specific topics to provide each other before agreeing on a time and place for conversation.
- What main ideas or visions for the next several years shall we explore?
- What possible changes in our current way of living would these choices suggest? Topics may include work, family and childcare, pleasure, financial resources, housing, and community. Other considerations could include location, health, spiritual practice, learning, and friends.
- Since time and energy will not permit discussing everything at once, what are the one or two most important matters to discuss now? How shall you schedule discussion of the remaining ones?
- Since agreed-upon changes often bring new opportunities for development, what specifically can you address to improve the quality of life together now.
- What concerns and practical matters related to differing interests, goals, and needs may get in the way of accomplishing the main goals for the present?
- How can mutual benefit be found in these matters, as they relate to each of you together and independently?
For each person’s additional consideration and preparation think about:
- What is the most significant issue for my partner?
- What is the most significant issue for me?
- What specific needs and preferences of my partner can you anticipate?
- As you wish, think about the following additional themes in advance, adding your own ideas on the lines provided:
- timing, place, and regularity of conversations
- matters and habits to avoid or modify
- positive incentives and rewards for follow through for you and your partner
- patterns, concerns, and tendencies that could block progress now
- how to transcend blocking patterns and tendencies, now and later
- crucial matters that may benefit from third-party facilitation
So, love can be great, when you’re willing to work at it and accept its dynamism and complexity. Does that not make it interesting and stimulating most of the time when there is effective partnership that has meaning and joy?