Distractions, expectations, past baggage, and experience can all take a toll on your love life. Even if you’re in the most loving relationship, these triggers have a way of chipping away at what was once a joyous partnership. So how do you stop that from happening in your relationship?
We’ve talked previously about how applying mindfulness to your everyday life can have a great impact on how you view life and the experiences you go through. Now I want to more specifically show you how applying mindfulness to your intimate relationship can build intimacy in leaps and bounds.
Just in case you didn’t read the previous post. Mindfulness is the state of being actively in the present. You’re fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and senses, without judgement
It is a state of mind that essentially means you’re fully engrossed in the moment and what’s going on around you. Those who practice being mindful daily, find that the good times are more enjoyable, while the bad times are easier to get through. Though it does not negate good or bad feelings, it does somehow increase your level of happiness.
How Does This Apply to Relationships?
So you’re curious as to how mindfulness can result in healthy relationships?
Imagine, being ever present in your relationship. Not allowing outside distractions, past experiences, or emotions to control you. Having the ability to be attentive to your needs, the needs of your partner, and staying in tune with what is necessary to help the relationship grow?
The results…. mind blowing.
Here’s what you get when you learn to be more mindful in your relationship:
- Improved relationship with yourself – I’m sure I’ve said this a time or two before, but self-love is the perquisite to having a loving relationship. When you’re more in tune with who you are, your emotions, and the experiences going on around you, you are better equipped to give that love back to your relationship.
- Free From Emotional Baggage – A lot of times we hold onto past emotions and experiences, simply because we don’t know how to deal with change or have not allowed ourselves to fully feel the emotions of that experience. When you practice mindfulness, you learn to truly express your feelings while also learning to accept what has happened as a natural part of life.Ideally, this means that you’re not carrying that excess baggage into your relationship. So when conflict arises, or you’re trigged by something your significant other does or says, you’re no longer responding or reacting based on pent-up emotion or hurtful experiences from the past. You’re able to deal with the matter based on the present, after you’ve given yourself time to feel.
- The Ability to Focus on Your Partner – When you’re not bogged down with your own thoughts, stresses, and emotions, it makes it easier for you to be attentive to the needs of your partner. As you become more mindful of their needs, wants, and desires, you’re more inclined to want to do and say things that will only heighten the depth of intimacy you experience together.
- Better Communicator – If you’ve ever done research on successful relationships you’ve heard it over and over again that effective communication can often resolve a lot of problems and is necessary for a healthy relationship. When you’re practicing the art of being mindful on a regular basis, you’re going to essentially learn how to be a better communicator.
Why? Well, part of being mindful is learning how to be an effective listener, being present in the moment, and trying to adhere to the needs of your partner. You also learn to take deep breaths before addressing a matter so as not to react on pure emotion.
This in turn makes you a better communicator. It prevents you from making matters worse, or overlooking the underlying issue. You can now clearly see the issue, address it in a manner that will be effective, and come to a resolve that will strengthen your relationship.
- Better Lover – As if the above mentioned benefits weren’t enough, mindfulness can also improve your sex life and make you a better lover. When your mind is free from distractions you can more easily focus on the emotional, physical and spiritual levels of physical touch and connection. Ultimately you can intimately connect with you sexual partner in ways that before were only a distant dream. As you focus on conscious and mindful pleasure your partner, they are more inclined to put their efforts into pleasuring you, which ultimately leads to some awesome nights of lovemaking.
Or perhaps you’re already an attentive lover, though you rarely ask for what you want or share what pleasures you. If so, it’s time to mindfully guide your partner to make love to you in a more satisfying and connected way.
Mindfulness Sounds Great…. Where Do I Start?
Now that you have a better idea of how being mindful on a regular basis can prove beneficial to your relationship, you’re likely anxious to get started. Of course, you’ll need to start by being mindful in general, which you can read about in my previous post. However, here are some suggestions on how to apply it to your relationship:
- Greater Good– A relationship is not about “I” but about “we”. Start making an effort to consider your partner’s thoughts and feelings. Empathy and compassion will assist you to made decisions in your relationship that support the greater good of the relationship. Of course I am not saying neglect your own needs altogether, but if your partner wants to get away for a weekend and you thought you’d put in more hours at the office, you may want to adjust your priorities and consider giving into the needs of your significant other.
- Actively Listen – When your partner is talking to you, listen. Put the phone down, turn off the television, turn off your wandering mind, and just listen wholeheartedly to what they have to say. You just may learn a thing or two, but it also shows them that you value their opinion. Try not to think about what you want to say next. Listen to them properly.
- Respond Carefully – I’ll be the first to tell you that even in a loving relationship, the one closest to you can often push your buttons the fastest. When you find your buttons being pushed by your partner, take a few deep breaths get the raw emotion out (alone) and then respond in a mature manner that will not lead to resentment, words you wish you could take back, or a bigger argument.
- Remember the Power of Touch – Do you go days without hugging or kissing one another? You’ll be surprised what damage this could do to your relationship. Make a point of being affectionate and touch your partner more. Whether you make sure you kiss them every day before leaving, or you spend time giving them a massage at night, the power of touch can prove very beneficial to tending to their needs and being aware of their physical presence.
- Watch Your Influences – When you cloud your mind with nonsense about relationships, it can make it really hard for you to be the partner you want to be. Watch how much you talk to friends and family, and even minimize the amount of relationship drama you read about online or see on television. Also, be mindful of who is giving you advice, there are some people you should rarely if ever ask advice from. Some people just don’t have the skills to give you healthy love advice.
- Take Time to Have Fun – This day and age, we can be so easily distracted, that we take our relationships for granted or we get caught up on stuff that doesn’t matter. Whether you have to find a sitter or take a few vacation days, find time to simply have fun and reengage with your partner.
- Acts of Service – A very popular love language and very beneficial in proving that you’re appreciative of your partner is acts of service. Take out the trash, make them breakfast in bed, or even take the kids off their hands for a while. Whatever you believe might put a smile on their face. Find out what they need and value.
- Compliment Often – When’s the last time you complimented your partner? Compliments can go a long way in making them feel appreciated and showing your affection towards one another. It is also a way to let them know that you’re present in the relationship. Tell him how good he looks today, or good job on the yard work. It lets them know you’re paying attention to their efforts. People like to feel seen.
- Say Thank You – We have a habit of taking things for granted too easily. We start to “expect” that our mates are supposed to do things for us. Start showing your appreciation for your partner by saying thanks more often.
- Set Goals Together – Setting goals is a great way for you guys to connect, align your visions, and to set a plan in motion as a team. Pencil in some time to set goals you want to accomplish over the next few weeks, months, or years, and reevaluate them often to ensure you’re on the right track.
A mindful relationship is a healthy relationship. Take each of these suggestions, apply them, and watch the difference they have on the way you see your partner – and the way they see you.
The more aware you become of the present moment, experiences, and the feelings and desires of your partner (and your own), the more they will reciprocate those actions. Empathy and compassion is contagious and it all begins with self-awareness followed with mindful action…
In my eyes, I’d say that’s a win-win situation.