While many of us have been hunkering in place with our beloved, it may be just a little too much closeness. Some of the things we loved about that person when we first met are now exacerbated—even irritating.
Maintaining a healthy relationship during these times—whether you’ve been together for two months or twenty years—takes love, commitment, and respect. It also takes work and ingenuity.
Believe me; I’ve practiced a few tricks with my husband to help maintain and build a strong, loving bond.
- Communication authentically
Communication is vital for the continuation of a healthy relationship. It allows you to connect with each other, to feel understood, to share hopes and worries, and it’s not always easy. Yes, you may talk every day, but talking isn’t the same as genuinely communicating about your feelings.
I took note of an article in Medium that highlights “A Powerful Game for More Intimate and Authentic Relationships.” It explains how authentic relating can be playful and change the structure of our traditional social interactions. It provides a way to create more space for authenticity, freedom, and trust in a relationship.
Taking the time and space to have meaningful conversations is most important in these hectic and worrisome times. But it’s necessary.
Consider scheduling time in your planners to allow space for true communication.
- Understand and serve yourself
Your relationship with yourself is the most significant relationship you’ll ever have. How you feel about yourself will help you navigate your relationship with strength and compassion.
If you know yourself and love yourself, it opens the door to what you need in a relationship.
Learning about yourself is a lifelong journey that can be approached in several ways.
You could discover mediation through a guru or through guided meditation apps that exist online. Alternatively, you can go down the route of discovering your personality type through various methods, from Myers-Briggs to Enneagram. Learn more about the different Enneagram types online.
- Dedicate time to your partner—snuggle, dance and cook
While communication is essential, physical intimacy is a building block to a healthy relationship.
Touch, hold hands, give that cheek a stroke, or give that bear a hug!
Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the pea-sized pituitary gland, just at the base of your big brain. Some folks consider it the “cuddle or love hormone because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.
I try to take an extra dose of oxytocin every day!
Another way to stay close and dedicate time together is to prepare meals together.
I’ve found that while I am chopping organic vegetables, my husband knows just what to do with that Italian linguini. He makes a wild carbonara to nestle beside the veggies, and we dine by candlelight.
Having an intimate dance after dinner is the perfect way to give ourselves a little shot of that “snuggle drug” to send us off to sleep.
- Practice compassion and understanding
My husband and I recently realized neither of us is usually wrong. We just think about things differently, and, in fact, we almost have different brains.
While I want to leave the kosher salt out on the counter for a fast reach in case something needs a good fermenting. He sees it as clutter and places it high up in the cupboard.
I am short, so my pickling instincts get triggered, and I lash out.
I like ease and a little chaos; he prefers order. Who is right? We both are.
Who is wrong? Neither of us—we’re just different.
It’s an old book, but you can still find it on Amazon. “When Opposites Attract: Right Brain/Left Brain Relationships and How to Make Them Work.” It explains that left brain or right brain dominance can radically influence how couples communicate.
It’s a guide to intimacy that explores ways to overcome the problems that can arise from being “wired differently.”
Relationships aren’t always easy—conflict is a natural part of any relationship, and there will always be flashpoints. But understanding how you are both wired can bring compassion and understanding during those times of heat.
What tricks do you have up your sleeve in your relationship?