We all know that going through quarantine as couples can be really difficult.
When we are finally forced to cast away our fairy-tale tinted glasses to look at our partners (especially more so during quarantine) and the reality that we live in, do you heave a sigh of relief knowing that you are blessed to be spending more time with your partner, or do you just sigh and lament about how things used to be better prior to the “New Normal”? If you clicked on this article, I’m guessing you belong to the latter.
Making a conscious effort to manifest love in your relationships is incredibly important, especially during these turbulent times.
Keep your spirits high and let’s rev up the positivity engine! We are going to explore how to execute 3 simple exercises so that your quarantine nights can now transform into exciting date nights you look forward to!
1. Explore Your Love Language
The famed Gary Chapman’s theory regarding love languages has been a hit among the collection of relationship advice that Google churns out – by now you would already know that there are 5 main love languages that detail how we express love. According to this theory, relationship building is facilitated when the love languages of each partner is met. This does not mean that we need to change partners if our love languages differ – it just means we need to know how to meet the expectations of our partner’s love language if we want the relationship to flourish! In the absence of that, we may not feel love or effectively communicate love even when the desire to build the relationship is there.
Now, with the increased time you have with your partner, it is essential that you both take some time to explore which 5 of the love languages resonates with you. If time is a major crunch factor, turn this exploration into a one-week challenge where you explore 1 love language per day and detail what it means to you/how important it is that this love language is a priority.
As an example, listed below are the 5 Love Languages:
- Physical Touch
- Giving Gifts
- Spending Quality Time Together
- Speaking Words of Affirmation
- Doing Acts of Service
How this could play out in a week, would be to assign 1 love language per day to focus on – Monday would be focusing on Physical Touch. This means that as individuals, we can start to think about how we would like to express our interpretation of Physical Touch to our partner and demonstrate it for the entire day. This could mean brushing our hands across our partner’s back as we walk by, to giving a hug every time you see your partner!
No rules, just go with how you think this love language should be expressed! When the day comes to a close, sit down together to discuss which actions express the most love in your opinions and share how you would like to incorporate more/less of these in a daily basis.
Repeat the same for the other love languages for the rest of the days and use the weekend to align with each other on how you feel! When you both know your love languages and understand the nuances of each love language from each other’s perspectives, you will be better able to commit to expressing your affection more regularly. While this will not guarantee that your love will suddenly ignite or appear if it has been a rough time for both of you, it will definitely help you and your partner to feel more positive and increase the intimate communication that is currently lacking.
2. Uproot the Negative, Instill the Positive
It is inevitable that conflicts might happen more frequently as 2 humans dwell in the same quarantined location with little freedom. This might mean increased stress, whether from work or personal issues, and it can be so easy to mindlessly throw out hurtful assessments of your partner’s behavior. Perhaps you might be feeling tired, down or even let down – but YOU are in the best position to steer the relationship towards the positive! All it takes, is to tweak the words you say into a more constructive structure!
Involve your partner in this endeavor to cultivate a positive relationship by making a shared commitment to communication any unhappiness in a more constructive way. This can be done as a follow-up to the first exercise above, or even concurrently if you guys are up for a challenge!
From an individual level, reflect on the words you tend to throw out when you are upset. Perhaps an example would be clearing the dishes and it might go like this – “Haven’t we agreed to clear these dishes up before going to bed?! Why is it still lying there?!” In this example, there is dissatisfaction from disappointment because one party feels let down that his/her request wasn’t met or paid attention to.
The focus here is the disappointment felt. However, using words here that reference to both of you as a whole also helps reinforce the idea of union. If you are the receiving party of this upsetting statement, understand that it is more about feeling let down rather than the presence of dirty dishes.
If you are the person who is feeling let down, think about how you can express your disappointment more constructively. For example, try saying “It means a lot to me that you want to prioritize quality time with me before bed, but could you please remember to also clear up the dishes first so that we can start the day with a clean kitchen tomorrow?”
This not only allows you to express your dissatisfaction truthfully, but also open yourself up to your partner on what you value and show him/her how he/she can play his/her part. The key message here though, is to not suppress your unpleasant feelings. Instead, open up the communication channels to show how both of you have an important role to play in keeping this relationship happy and healthy!
For women, you may also want to understand how to bring out the Hero’s Instinct in your partner which might lead to a stronger connection in your relationship.
3. Create a Board of Dreams Together
Just like how dashboards help keep your work in perspective for all the stakeholders involved, creating a collective dream board can enhance the visualization of your collective goals and steer your thoughts toward the positive future together. This creates an open conversation on values and beliefs and also strengthens the morale in your relationship.
Out of the 3 simple exercises, this is the easiest to work on as all you need is some craft materials to get started! Ignite the spark in your relationship again by becoming excited to create a beautiful artwork together! Fill the board with prints, souvenirs from past trips, postcards or even letters you both have written for one another! If you guys are going through a rough patch right now, perhaps having a board that represents happy memories or the ideal happy future would be helpful to cultivate a better intimate relationship.
Whether or not you are using the dream board to enhance your relationship, or to steer it towards the positive, remember that you want to fill it up with all the things you both look forward to as a couple! This should give you a clear focus to work towards in the future, and hopefully just by looking at it, you will instantly feel more positive about relationships – and life in general!
With these 3 simple exercises on positivity that you can easily start working on, an exciting enhanced relationship will be yours soon! Keep believing!