There is an urge to make individual changes during this time of year. Part of this urge is natural and other parts are thrust upon us by society. How does this affect romantic relationships? As you start to make resolutions and/or goals for the new year, when and HOW do you include your partner?
Let’s discuss how to start making plans for your relationship in a holistic way. Here’s how to start a conversation with your partner, how to avoid the pitfalls of focusing energies on things that are not important to you, and how to honor the parts of yourself.
Choosing a time to speak with your partner about your future together
First things first. Make sure that all parties are in the right mental space to have this conversation. For example, bringing the topic up during rush hour after a long day of work may not be the best option. Check-in with your partner and ask them if they are in an open and receiving space to chat (be specific about the topic). If they are not, schedule a time that works best for you both.
Many people make traditional individual goals like making more money or losing weight. While these are helpful, consider this instead.
Think of your future selves in 20 years. Imagine you live an embodied life. Ask yourselves these three questions:
- How do you feel about your life together?
- What brings you joy in your relationship?
- How are you connecting to the world around you?
Based on the answers to these questions, discuss what your future together looks like. Are your visions in congruency with each other? If not, how can you get everyone’s needs met?
Next, I want you to notice parts of your relationship that are aligned to that future version. Nourish and honor those parts. You will find that there are aspects of your relationship that you already do well, such as sharing fondness and admiration and taking responsibility during conflict. Ask yourselves, what are you pleased with as a couple? Identify these aspects and honor your commitment and hard work to each other.
Honoring your relationship can look like…
- Taking a quiet moment to acknowledge all your joint accomplishments
- Making your quality time together a priority
- Practicing active listening as much as possible
- Resting when you are tired and not overcommitting yourselves with engagements
- Taking breaks from everyday tasks to tune into each other
Lastly, notice every choice that you have from this point forward in your relationship and individually and ask yourself, Is this in alignment with my relationship vision? Knowing where you both want to go makes it easier to stay on course to get there.
When you are aligned with your relationship’s purpose, it is easier to enjoy the journey.
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