By Samantha Karlin
Relationships require both parties to put in the neccessary work to stay happy. For some, the work needed is more difficult than others. Yet, all of your efforts will pay off when you and your partner are living in relational bliss. Here are 10 tips to achieving passion and happiness in your relationship.
1. Spend quality time with each other. Particularly when you live with someone, time together can be easily taken for granted because the assumption is you will just see each other when you get home. However, being home at the same time does not necessarily translate to quality time.
Set a regular time where your number one priority is each other. Also, try to mix up your dates or activities. New experiences release dopamine in the brain, which also increases sexual desire. So, get out of that dinner and a movie funk and try something adventurous. Free kayaking on a river is one suggestion. But, I am sure you can think of other adventures the two of you can explore.
2. Spend quality time with yourself. Self-help guru and creative mastermind, Julia Cameron, calls this “The Artist’s Date.” She classifies it as an afternoon spent with just you and an activity that you enjoy, whether it be wandering around a flea market, seeing an movie, reading a book, painting, or anything else you enjoy doing.
This alone time will help you to foster your own creativity, gain perspective and increase your level of happiness. Enjoying the time you spend with yourself will also make you less dependent on your partner to provide constant company or entertainment. Once you start to realize you do not need someone else to have a good time, you start really enjoying life.
3. Explore one another. Personality tests like Strengths 2.0, Myers Brigg and the Enneagram, can give you insight into why your partner behaves the way that they do. Understanding your partner’s natural inclinations is key to having empathy for them, which is crucial to successful bonding. Suggest to your partner that you both take these tests and share the results with one another. It will shed light on those mysteries about one another that you just have not been getting.
4. Introduce new ideas to your sex life. Try integrating new things into the bedroom. Baby oil, sex toys or roleplay are three possible ideas. Also, try starting off sex with a massage or something that shows how much you care about your partner.
In addition, it is time to target any sexual issues that either of you may be experiencing. These issues often go unfixed due to male pride or embarrassment. Lack of sex drive and the inability to maintain an erection, among other sexual issues, are easily treatable with natural and prescription medications. A healthy sex life is crucial to a healthy relationship.
5. Take the listening test. How do you listen? True empathy requires active listening. Active listening is completely and totally focusing on the other person, without distraction. Active listening goes beyond just hearing the words that they say. It requires feeling the energy that the person is putting across in the room. Active listening also requires that you are not planning a counterargument or solution as the other person talks. Listen, think and then speak.
6. During an arguement, stop speaking. Almost everyone is in agreement that communication is essential to successful relationships. But as noted in the last tip, words are not the only ways in which we can communicate with one another. Sometimes we even use words malproductively. Words are frequently used in order to hide our true feelings, to over intellectualize a situation or to disguise our vulnerabilities from our partners.
So try this. The next time you get into an argument, stop talking and stare deeply into each other’s eyes for one minute. If you find it helpful, put on your favorite cheesy love song in the background. When you feel so compelled, reach out for your partner’s hand. Then wait patiently. The anger will subside as you connect with one another.
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